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'Put the gun down': 16-year-old shooting victim's family urges community to stop the violence

16-year-old Kymelo Early's parents say he was a very active teen with a warm spirit.

MACON, Ga. — On Monday, May 9, the Bibb County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting outside of Friends Food Mart on Houston Avenue.

Kymelo Early, 16, was shot in the parking lot while he was hanging out with his friends. He was taken to the Medical Center, Atrium Health Navicent where he died. His parents Reginald and Raylette Davis are ready for the gun violence to end.

"I got text messages and probably about 20-30 missed calls that my son had been shot," said Reginald Davis. 

Investigator said 21-year-old Ja'Kobe Archie is accused of killing the teen and he's being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Early's parents said he was there hanging out with friends, but it was the wrong place and the wrong time. Raylette Davis says Kymelo was a student at Bibb County's SOAR Academy. She said he was very active and had a warm spirit.

"He was an all-around sportsman. He loved all kinds of sports. He going to be on the field, the court, wherever the sport's at -- that's where Kymelo was going to be," Raylette Davis said.

According to the CDC, guns are leading cause of death among children and teens in Georgia. In the United States, Black children and teens are 14 times more likely to die by gun violence. Reginald didn't expect someone he knew personally to be a victim.

"The guy that actually shot my son, me and his father was friends," Reginald Davis said.

Reginald and Raylette said Kymelo was your average 16-year-old ready to get his driver's license. He had plans to join the Army after graduation. Raylette says she wants everyone to put the guns down. 

Reginald says he knows the father of Ja'Kobe Archie. He says while this is a tough time, he believes they will talk about this eventually.