Pal shot by accident, teens sayThey are charged with murder, but the teens who were involved in the death of a 17-year-old on Friday have told those closest to them the shooting was an accident.
BY WANDA J. DeMARZO AND DARRAN SIMON
More photosThe four teens set out to commit a robbery. Instead, detectives say, they shot and killed one of their own.
The Broward Sheriff's Office have three teens in custody who they say are responsible for the death of 17-year-old Casmo Hill, shot in the chest around 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
On Sunday, Broward Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Odane Reid and Timothy ''Troy'' Baker, both 17, from the Melrose Park community of Fort Lauderdale, charging them with felony murder.
Aquil Phillip, 18, of Margate, was arrested late Saturday in Hill's death, and is also charged with murder.
According to court records, Phillip pleaded no-contest last month to carrying a concealed weapon.
Initially, the three teens told Fort Lauderdale police they were the victims of an attempted robbery. and that during the robbery Hill was shot.
But on Saturday, Baker's mother, Thelma Baker, called Fort Lauderdale police and said her son and Phillip wanted to tell the truth about what happened.
Troy Baker told BSO detectives he drove the carand gave the others his shotgun to use during the robbery. He drove to the Broadview Park area looking for someone to rob, according to BSO. They saw a man sitting on a car, parked their car and approached him ``announcing a robbery.''
Phillip held the shotgun on the man while Hill searched his pockets, the report states.
The shotgun discharged and everyone ran, including the robbery victim.
After the smoke cleared, Reid, Baker and Phillip saw Hill on the ground and placed him in the car. As they drove to Plantation General Hospital, they stopped at a canal and threw the gun in the water. They concocted a tale to tell police about how Hill was shot.
Phillip is being held at the Broward County Jail without bond, while Reid and Baker are being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Thelma Baker said she didn't know her son had a gun.
''If I knew, believe me, Cosmo would be alive today and Troy wouldn't be where he is,'' Baker said Monday. ``Cosmo is like a son to me. I lost two sons.''
Monday, a relative at Hill's home said the family was working on funeral arrangements.
The four teenagers knew each other fairly well.
All, except Phillip, lived in Fort Lauderdale's Melrose Park neighborhood. Hill usually picked up Reid in the mornings for the alternative school they attended.
Some days, they would work on Hill's car.
Thelma Baker said her son and Phillip were playing video games last Friday at her house. Hill and Reid came around 8:30 p.m. and everyone left, saying they were going to get something to eat, Baker recalled.
A CALL FOR HELP
Her son called her from Plantation General Hospital, Baker said.
' `Mama, I need you. I need you,' '' she recalled him saying.
Baker said her son said Hill's death was ``an accident.''
A few streets away, Reid's older brother stood in his driveway of their home in Melrose Park, tears mounting, shaking his head Monday.
Jahmeil, who declined to give his last name, said he talked to Reid on the phone on Sunday.
''He said, `Everything was an accident','' said Jahmeil, recalling a conversation with his brother.
Jahmeil, 21, added: ``I know it was an accident. All of them are friends.''
Hill and Reid both attended the Life Skills Center in Fort Lauderdale, he said.
Andrea Wedderburn, Reid's aunt, said the family wants to extend their condolences to the all the families involved and mothers who are grieving.
''We are very, very sorry for what happened,'' Wedderburn, a Miami resident, said as he stood in the family's Melrose Park driveway on Monday.
Hill was the seventh teenage murder victim in Broward this year, the third in less than two weeks. He'll be buried Saturday, said Gina Hill, his aunt. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Last Thursday night, Sharod Donte Smith, 15, was shot to death in Roosevelt Gardens, just west of Fort Lauderdale, during a neighborhood brawl.
On July 3, Markese Wiggin, 14, was shot to death in Lauderhill as he and his brother were walking home from a convenience store.
No one has been arrested in either shooting.
Police ask that anyone with information about this case or the others call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).