Five years later: Community still mourning child gunned down


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Five years ago Sunday, a child was shot and killed walking home from basketball, just blocks from his Grandmother’s home.

January 3, 2016, 14-year-old Aljhean Williams was gunned down at around 6:25 near the corner of Emory Street and Steward Circle in the Creekwood neighborhood.

After years of searching, 23-year-old Cedric Burnett was arrested and charged with Williams’ death in 2020.

“We will get justice for Aljhean,” said Williams’ Godmother, Selena Cobbs. “And we will be one family that do get to see our day in court.”

But until then, Cobbs says she and her loved ones will meet every year at corner Williams lost his life for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cobbs said they have to keep his memory alive.

“Because if we let him be forgotten, then we let all these kids walking around here…. be forgotten.”

With the recent rise in murder and gun violence rates in Wilmington, Moms-N-Mourning Vice President Yolanda Hayes said the community has too much to lose to forget.

“Our future. Our future is dying. So, it’s time to get real, it’s time to wake up. Because we are losing our children.”

After lighting candles and releasing balloons, the group finished Williams’ walk home, seeking justice, praying for peace, and determined to save other children and families from a similar fate.

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