Family remembers 18-year-old shot, killed in Kroger parking lot

The victim’s family told Channel 2 Action News they have no idea why their loved one was targeted in a Kroger parking lot.

Henry County police have identified the accused shooter as 18-year-old Omarion Thomas.

Family and friends of 18-year-old Nikeem Hargrove got emotional Saturday night as they gathered in the Ellenwood Kroger parking lot for a candlelight vigil to celebrate the life of a teenager who had just graduated from high school in spring.

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“I’m numb. In disbelief. I’m mad. I’m angry!” Hargrove’s aunt, Angela Cooley told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden.

Just feet from the candle light gathering, there were boarded-up windows that reminded the family of the chaos that unfolded there on Friday night.

Police say it was around 8 pm when a fight broke out inside the store and then spilled into the parking lot.

Once outside, investigators said, guns were pulled and bullets started flying. When officers arrived, they found Hargrove fatally wounded.

“Nikeem was somebody that didn’t mess with nobody. Nikeem was always happy, you never see him mad,” his sister, Nikirah Kennedy said.

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On Saturday afternoon, police announced the arrest of the suspected teen shooter, 18-year-old Omarion Thomas.

The victim’s family told us they had never heard that name until Saturday.

“All I can say is I’m heartbroken,” Latange Smith, Hargrove’s mother, said.

A 2022 graduate of DeKalb County’s Martin Luther King Jr. high school, Hargrove had been working hard, preparing to take his real estate exam, when senseless gun violence destroyed his dreams.

An employee told Channel 2 Action News the store will reopen on Sunday. In the meantime, this family is now forced to plan a funeral.

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