By Muhammad Atef | June 11, 2021

Family of teen killed at Smoketown park pleading with community to call LMPD

Gun violence in Louisville claimed another young life.”We’re going through a lot right now; we’re going through a lot of pain,” said Nicole Coward, his aunt.Coward never imagined she’d have to help bury her nephew, Dejuan. Some of the very last steps the 17-year-old took were at Ballard Park on Monday.”He was going to be a senior this year at Iroquois High School and he can’t even walk to graduate because of what happened,” Coward said.The teen was walking toward a family member’s home near the park to play video games.”But my cousin wasn’t home and when he walked back, he seen a couple of his friends here and stood here with his friends and they came through shooting,” Coward said.The shots came from across the park to the bench, where his family says around 10 people were hanging out. WLKY Chopper was in the air as investigators blocked off the area. They said Coward and a teenage girl were hit. She was taken to the hospital where she’s expected to survive. Nicole says her nephew was shot in the head.”My nephew was up talking and everything but by the time we got to the hospital, he wasn’t doing anything,” Coward said.He died Wednesday morning. LMPD says around 170 shell casings were found at the park and there could be as many as 10 suspects.”I can’t do nothing except to just sit there and cry and cry and cry. I try to go to work and I just cry, cry, cry,” Coward told WLKY.The family is pleading with the Smoketown community to call LMPD’s anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD. They say getting these suspects off the streets could save other innocent lives.”Our boys come down here and play basketball, we bring our grandkids down here,” said Coward.Friday night, the family said they plan on having a balloon release at Ballard Park at 6 p.m.

Gun violence in Louisville claimed another young life.

“We’re going through a lot right now; we’re going through a lot of pain,” said Nicole Coward, his aunt.

Coward never imagined she’d have to help bury her nephew, Dejuan. Some of the very last steps the 17-year-old took were at Ballard Park on Monday.

“He was going to be a senior this year at Iroquois High School and he can’t even walk to graduate because of what happened,” Coward said.

The teen was walking toward a family member’s home near the park to play video games.

“But my cousin wasn’t home and when he walked back, he seen a couple of his friends here and stood here with his friends and they came through shooting,” Coward said.

The shots came from across the park to the bench, where his family says around 10 people were hanging out. WLKY Chopper was in the air as investigators blocked off the area. They said Coward and a teenage girl were hit. She was taken to the hospital where she’s expected to survive. Nicole says her nephew was shot in the head.

“My nephew was up talking and everything but by the time we got to the hospital, he wasn’t doing anything,” Coward said.

He died Wednesday morning. LMPD says around 170 shell casings were found at the park and there could be as many as 10 suspects.

“I can’t do nothing except to just sit there and cry and cry and cry. I try to go to work and I just cry, cry, cry,” Coward told WLKY.

The family is pleading with the Smoketown community to call LMPD’s anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD. They say getting these suspects off the streets could save other innocent lives.

“Our boys come down here and play basketball, we bring our grandkids down here,” said Coward.

Friday night, the family said they plan on having a balloon release at Ballard Park at 6 p.m.



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