Two teenagers have been arrested in South Carolina and extradited on murder charges in connection with the death of Georgia high school football star Elijah DeWitt, who was found shot in a Georgia mall parking lot last week.
DeWitt, 18, was found dead on the ground with gunshot wounds around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Gwinnett County, Georgia, near a Dave & Buster’s arcade, authorities said.
The Gwinnett County Police Department announced Friday that two teenagers from Lawrenceville, Georgia, were arrested in South Carolina.
Kemare Bryan, 18, and Chandler Zion Richardson, 19, were charged with felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assaulted and possession of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies in connection with DeWitt’s death, police said.
The suspects were arrested after deputies in South Carolina tracked down a white Mini Cooper at a QuikTrip gas station along Highway 76, and detectives spent hours interviewing both suspects, the Anderson County Sheriff's Office said.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Bryan and Richardson were extradited from Anderson County, South Carolina, to Gwinnett County Jail.
Lawyer information for the pair was not immediately available.
Any possible motive remains a mystery.
Gwinnett County police said it appears the suspects and DeWitt “were familiar with each other.”
“When they encountered each other in the parking lot, an altercation took place and then the shooting,” police said.
DeWitt, a senior, was a star wide receiver on the Jefferson High School football team.
The team said in a tribute on social media that it was “heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own, Elijah DeWitt."
"The DeWitt family is in our thoughts and prayers. We appreciate your understanding as we respect the family’s privacy during this time," the statement said.
DeWitt’s mother, Dawn, described her son as a “gentle giant” who wanted to play college football.
“He really just encompassed that dream, and nothing seemed to ever stand in his way” Dawn DeWitt told NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta. “He loved football. He was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to go D1. That was his ultimate goal.” “D1” refers to Division I college football.
She said Elijah died on his father’s birthday.
“He was so full of life and love, and he was courageous,” she said. “It really was a privilege to be a part of the journey, and I really wish I could just have it back.”