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Juvenile arrested in connection with 12-year-old Portsmouth boy’s homicide

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A juvenile male has been arrested in connection with the December homicide of a 12-year-old Portsmouth boy.

Kemon Battle

On Tuesday, Detectives with the Portsmouth Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit charged the suspect with voluntary manslaughter after the death of Kemon Battle.

Battle was shot in the upper body in the 50 block of Lexington Drive on the morning of December 21. At the time, police said his injuries were serious.

He was taken to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, where he died the next day after an unsuccessful operation.

His cousin, De’Andre Barnes, spoke to News 3’s Rachael Cardin about growing up with gun violence in some of the tougher areas of Portsmouth.

“Coming from out here, I wanted to show these kids out here you can make a way coming from this community. You don’t have to look and see what your environment offers you,” said Barnes as he reflected on the loss of his young cousin.

Related: Vigil for 12-year-old shot and killed in Portsmouth 

Battle died around the same time Barnes was being sworn in as the newest and youngest member of the Portsmouth School Board. He is trying to get more funding for nonprofit programs that get kids involved in sports or other constructive activities that take them out of their neighborhoods for a few hours a day.

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