For the family of 12-year-old Clinton Howell, the Christmas holidays this year are marked by darkness and grief. A week before Christmas, the seventh-grader was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting as he stood in the doorway of his family home. The gunman, Tajay Chambers, was in the country illegally.
According to Bridgeport, Conn. station Fox61, Clinton was returning home from buying snacks at a convenience store when Chambers opened fire, striking him twice. He was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Clinton was not Chambers’s intended target.
According to police sources, Chambers, 18, and three co-conspirators, all minors —ages 12, 14 and 16 — were driving in a stolen car when they got into an altercation with several people walking along the street Clinton Howell lived on, among them a relative of Clinton. Chambers reportedly drove off, then returned with a pistol and allegedly opened on the relative, but instead struck young Howell as he was standing on the front porch of his home.
Chambers has been charged with murder, murder with special circumstances, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a firearm without a permit, risk of injury to a child, reckless endangerment, and larceny. His co-conspirators have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, and larceny.
A judge set Chambers’s bond at $500,000, and ICE put a detainer on him because the Jamaican national has been living in the US with a visa, according to WTNH.
The Daily Mail spoke with family members of the slain boy who say he was a happy child who stayed out of trouble and loved food and video games.
Meanwhile, Howell’s older brother, Gamel Dawkins, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the boy’s funeral, writing in the description that his younger sibling was ‘full of life and joy,’ and was looking forward to celebrating Christmas, followed by his 13th birthday on January 13.