Daveon Coates, 15, and his 11-year-old sister Tatiyana Coates were killed in their Jonesboro, Georgia, home on October 22 in an apparent gang retaliation shooting, police say, according to PEOPLE.
Police originally believed the shooting was the result of a home invasion, but a 15-year-old unnamed male visiting the home was the alleged target, writes the news outlet.
The siblings were home with several other children when shots were fired into their house. According to the news outlet, no adults were present and the other children were unharmed.
According to Clayton County Police Chief Michael Register, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday, the unnamed local gang intended to hit the 15-year-old youth. Weeks earlier, Tanieka Brown, Daveon and Tatiyana’s mother, opened her home to a friend and her five children who relocated from Tennessee, according to PEOPLE.
Register said the 15-year-old visitor may have been linked to a Tennessee gang and believes an act he committed against a local gang in Atlanta made them “retaliate in such a vicious manner.”
Authorities believe the teen was forewarned of danger ahead of the shooting and moved to Tennessee to escape violence. The unnamed youth is in police custody for questioning and for his own safety.
“Until we find those who are responsible for the crime, we will continue to dedicate our resources to this case,” Register said, according to PEOPLE.
The family is devastated by the shootings. Brown told the outlet she will remember Daveon as a sports fanatic who idolized LeBron James and Tatiyana as a lovable child who enjoyed playing outside, PEOPLE writes.
A GoFundMe campaign, set to raise money for funeral costs, exceeded its $5,000 goal after news of the tragic shooting went viral.
SOURCE: PEOPLE| PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter