Family of 16-Year-Old Fatally Shot in Brooklyn Park Calls for Calm, End to Gun Violence
Brooklyn Park police continue to look for the gunman who shot and killed a 16-year-old boy in a vehicle outside a business on Tuesday evening. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Varney Kennedy Jr. of Golden Valley, died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Wednesday evening, the victim’s family and community activists gathered for a prayer vigil. They called for peace and begged the public to put an end to the violence.
“My son should not be lying where he is today with a piece of cloth over him. He should be in school,” said Varney Kennedy Sr., the boy’s father.
A memorial event Tuesday night for Varney Kennedy Jr. resulted in more gun violence. Police say more than 50 rounds were fired at the memorial site involved several groups of people.
‘He Was My Heartbeat’
Varney Kennedy Jr. was fatally shot outside the African Market near Brookdale Drive and Yates Avenues North. According to Brooklyn Park police, Varney was in the backseat of a car when a gunman fired multiple times. One person was arrested in connection with the shooting, but police say this person is not the shooter.
The teen’s mom, Beatrice Kennedy, recalls the last moments of his life.
“My son lay in the grass over there and the police couldn’t even allow me to touch him,” said Kennedy “I saw him when he made the last voluntary movement. I knew he was gone.”
The family says Varney was quiet, friendly and always had a smile on his face.
“Everybody loved Varney. He was my baby. I call him the love of my life. He was my heartbeat. He remains my heartbeat,” said the grieving mom.
The parents asked the community to honor their son’s legacy by stopping the violence.
“Varney is gone, but let that be an example. Let this be the benchmark for change,” said Beatrice Kennedy.
“Gun violence every day, gun violence. This needs to stop,” said Varney Kennedy Sr.