• Relatives of teen charged in shooting apologize to victim's family

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The relatives of a 16-year-old charged with fatally shooting a 13-year-old apologized to the victim’s family in court Wednesday.

    The grandmother of suspect Damien Wright hugged the victims' aunts outside the courtroom and apologized.

    Wright is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 13-year-old Khalil Cousart.

    "When we came out, she just grabbed me and she said, ‘I'm so sorry. Please pray for him, he's a good boy,’" said Cousart's aunt, Rosalind Walker.

    Rosalind and another aunt, Bonita Walker, attended Wright's initial appearance because they told Eyewitness News they were still searching for closure.

    "I just wanted to see thing young man, I wanted to say something to him about what he did. I mean, nothing harsh, I just want to know why, why you know?" Walker said.

    Police said Wright shot and killed Cousart early Tuesday morning, but haven't released any details about what led up to the violence.

    An unidentified young man found Cousart's body on Tuckaseegee Road and flagged down a driver, who called 911. Wright was arrested just hours later.

    Cousart's family maintains the shooting was accidental, after revealing Cousart and Wright were close friends; the evening of the shooting, Cousart was spending the night at Wright's house.

    Still, Bonita Walker said the first-degree murder charge was justified, telling Channel 9 Wright should have been a role model to the 13-year-old and should never have had a gun.

    "It was an accident, maybe it was, but he shouldn't have had a weapon. Khalil was in his care. He didn't show big brotherhood with a gun," Walker said.

    Wright was silent during Wednesday's proceeding, only mouthing the words "I love you," to his girlfriend and grandmother as he was led away.

    He will remain in the Mecklenburg County Jail until his bond hearing on Aug. 29.

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