KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Kinston Police Department held a press conference Thursday morning to announce the arrest of a 17-year-old in the shooting death of a 16-year-old that happened last Saturday.
Kinston Police Chief Keith Goyette said the teen, who was not named, was taken into custody on Wednesday after a tip from the community. He was already in jail as a suspect in a vehicle theft. The teen is facing charges in the death of Jayden Ellis, 16.
“It’s been rough is really been rough, it’s took a tremendous toll on the family,” said Gregory Dunk, the step-grandfather of Ellis. “He was just a regular teenage guy you know? You know, so that’s the Jayden that I know and that’s the Jaden I’m I choosing to remember.”
Police said last Saturday that they responded at 1:40 p.m. to the area of 500 Marcella Drive and found the body of a 16-year-old male. On Monday, WNCT’s Erin Jenkins reports that Goyette announced the victim as Ellis.
During the investigation, police determined that prior to Ellis’ death, a vehicle was stolen along Vernon Avenue on March 17. There was also a report of a breaking and entering at a home on Hyman Avenue, where clothes were reportedly stolen.
The vehicle was later recovered in a different area with a gun, loose change and a cell phone stolen from the vehicle. Using surveillance video of the vehicle being stolen, police were able to identify the suspects and connect them to the breaking and entering of the home.
Search warrants were executed and, during that process, officers were fired at by Terima Arden, 48, of Kinston. Arden was arrested for felony assault on a law enforcement officer.
When Ellis’ body was found, police also found the missing cell phone and loose change from the vehicle on him. The gun has yet to be recovered.
“We discovered the young man that was deceased recovered the victim’s cell phone and loose change that was previously stolen in that motor vehicle. At this time, the firearm has not been recovered,” Goyette said.
The suspect in custody for Ellis’ murder is also being charged with the theft of the vehicle and breaking and entering. Kinston police said more arrests are expected.