LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The family of a 16-year-old who was shot and killed in Little Rock last week is now speaking out.
The Little Rock Police Department said Sema’j O’Neal died five days after he was shot on Baseline Road Friday. He was one of four people who were shot that night.
The homicide makes is the 50th of 2023 in the city, but O’Neal’s family said he is more than just a number or even a name, he was someone family and friends cared deeply for.
“I would want everyone to know that he was the life of the party,” Latondra O’Neal said. “No matter where he goes, he was well loved.”
Both Latondra O’Neal and Corvella Moore-Crutchfield helped raise O’Neal, especially after his mom was killed three years ago. They said they are heartbroken for his mom’s case, which remains open, and now O’Neal’s as well. Crutchfield said they are committed to finding answers for both.
“We’re never giving up hope,” she said. “We loved her just as much as we loved him.”
Crutchfield said the news of the loss is devastating, but also shocking.
“Oh man, he was an awesome son, awesome big brother, awesome uncle,” Moore-Crutchfield said. “Very respectful always, ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am.’ Just a great kid all the way around.”
LRPD officials have not given any information on a suspect at the time.
The police report also said a second juvenile, who was 9 years old, was also found at the scene with a gunshot to the leg. That victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Investigators said two more people, a 17-year-old and 19-year-old were also shot and taken to the hospital.