‘An innocent child with a bullet hole in his head,’ second suspect arrested in Alabama drive-by that killed teen

Published 6:20 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

Two men have been arrested and police are looking for others in the drive-by shooting that killed a 13-year-old Alabama boy who was playing with his iPad in his bedroom, an investigator said Monday

Julian Lamont Gordon Jr., 21, was arrested Monday in the death of Kei’lan Allen, said Capt. Jack Kennedy of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.

James Deanthony Reed, 18, was charged Sunday with capital murder and was to be held without bond, according to a statement on the Tuscaloosa Police Department’s Facebook page.

“We believe Reed was targeting one of Kei’lan’s older family members,” the department said.

The court clerk’s records did not show an attorney who could speak for Reed, department spokesperson Stephanie Taylor said in an email.

Police said earlier that Friday night’s shooting left so many bullet casings in the street that officers had to use folded business card as evidence markers.

A cousin, Corey Prewitt, 26, described Allen as a friendly, respectful straight-A student and artist, Al.com reported.

The shooters “just snatched away a future valedictorian from his family and that’s not something that’s easy to deal with,” he said.

Prewitt said Christina Barnes, the child’s mother, called out for her son after the shooting.

“He didn’t answer after that, so she walked in the room, and he was slumped over,” Prewitt said. “She just grabbed him and was telling him, ‘I love you. I love you.’ An innocent child with a bullet hole in his head.”