JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — As police investigate the fatal shooting at Monarch apartments early on New Year’s Day, family and friends of victim Ja’Shon Yates gathered to remember the 19-year-old Kingsport resident.
“Nobody should go through this,” Yates’ father, Chriss Hess, told News Channel 11.
He was among those who gathered for the vigil in Bristol, Virginia Thursday. Hess said his son touched many lives.
“I was just blessed enough to be somebody he called dad,” Hess said.
Johnson City police say they charged Dae’Vo Jennings-Worell, 22 of Johnson City, with 12 counts of reckless endangerment after he admitted to firing a gun into the apartment. However, police say are still working to determine who shot Yates.
Timothy Walker, who lives just a few doors down from where the shooting happened, called 911 when shots rang out.
“About 30 seconds into my call with 911, the second round of firing happened,” Walker said. “I heard screaming running down the hallway. I could hear neighbors throwing themselves off of the balcony and storming down the halls to try to get away.”
Police say they have conducted over 30 interviews already and they are still asking witnesses to come forward.
“We realized that some people may be hesitant to come to the police department, because they’re involved in underage drinking or something of that nature,” Lt. Don Shephard said. “I’ll tell you the city police department is not concerned with minor infractions at this time. We’re concerned with bringing justice for Ja’Shon Yates.”
Yate’s family is looking for justice too.
“In his name and in his honor, we’ll keep fighting for justice,” Hess said.