Baltimore father speaks out after son's violent death

Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 23:29:14-04

A father mourning his son's death less than a week ago has a message for Baltimore.  The violence and criminal activity have to stop. Tyrone James Sr. grew up in the streets of Baltimore, he just never thought he'd lose his son to them.

"My son had a smile that would brighten up a room.  His wit, he was a good child," James said. 

He says those are the memories he'll cherish about his son....his tragic death is still sinking in.

"Immediately I went through a whole ray of feelings of anger and frustration and unbelief," he said.

Tyrone James Jr. or Scoop as his family affectionately called him died a week ago. The 17-year-old was killed when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into his friend’s home in North East Baltimore early Saturday morning.

RELATED: Baltimore house fire ruled arson, 2 people rescued

Scoop and another teen were killed. His 20-year-old friend Micah Pinkney was critically injured when she jumped out of a third story window.

Police used surveillance video to track down the suspect. They dubbed Antonia Wright Public Enemy No.1.  He turned himself on Monday still proclaiming his innocence.

See also: Police name 26-year-old firebombing suspect Public Enemy No. 1

"I do know for me to get through this, I can't hate this man," James said. "I have to let God and the legal system prevail."

James learned the art of forgiveness through his own trials and tribulations. Today he's 15 years sober and working in the addiction field.


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His wake up call came in 2002 when he was facing a 22-year sentence for dealing and using drugs.

"We do things in life and I think we can be redeemed and reformed," he said.

He tried to use his own missteps to save Scoop from making the same.

"I wish I could have done more to reach him but now I don't even get that chance, so I would have kept trying and trying because it's my son. I love my children," James said.

While his son had one arrest for a non-violent crime. James says his youngest child had so much potential. Saturday police believe Scoop and Shi-Heem Sholto were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now this father has lost one of his five children and is preparing for an experience no parent should have to go through.

"It's not right for somebody to have to bury their child, so young," James said. "You think about your children burying you.  Now my son's life is gone, the other young man's and the one who did it.  Now his life is gone too."

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