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Family pleads for answers in deadly shooting of Memphis teen

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Friends and family of a 16-year-old sophomore who is described as college-bound by his principal, gathered at the spot in southwest Memphis where the teen was killed.

He was in a vehicle with his friend on Sunday when someone shot at them.

Larry Thomas is the teenager’s former Middle School Principal.

“It sad to see him not a part of our community anymore and he can’t continue on the great path he was in which was to go to college and have any college he wanted,” said Thomas.

Ja’Kobe Collins was a sophomore at Freedom Prep Academy on Brownlee.

His principals from middle and high school say he loved math.

“We’re definitely saddened by the loss and we’re here to support his family,” said his high school principal, Camile Melton Brown.

Kobe, as his friends called him, was sitting in his mother’s truck around 7:30 Sunday night talking with his girlfriend on Masterson when someone drove by and shot at them, killing the 16-year-old and injuring the girl.  

“He was the man of the house, helped with his two other siblings,” said his mother, Michelle Collins. “They going to miss him. I can’t even go in my baby’s room.”

A grief-stricken Collins said her son was supposed to pick her up from work and didn’t show up.

She could never have imagined the awful reason.

“I’m waiting on my son to come pick me up from work. I’m calling his phone. He’s not answering me,” she said.

Wednesday, friends and family lit candles in memory of someone they never expected would be gone.

“I got to go bury my 16-year-old son,” his mother said.

Kobe Collins was described as full of life, someone who liked to laugh and make other people laugh.

“Somebody took my baby life. My baby wasn’t in the streets, my baby didn’t have no beef with nobody,” she said.

Kobe’s family said he did not live in the area and since he was in his mother’s vehicle, investigators wonder if the shooter thought he was someone else.

“I just want justice for my son as well as for the young lady,” Collins said.

Police have very little information about the shooting and no information on suspects.  

If you know anything call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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