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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting 17-year-old Nakelyn Hills on May 6 in Glendale, police said.
Hills was shot multiple times at the southeast corner of a trailer park near 56th and Missouri avenues before the suspect fled from the scene, according to a Glendale police press release.
“I feel really hurt that my child is to be deceased at 17 years old,” Damieka Hills, Nakelyn’s mother, told The Arizona Republic. “He was planning on coming out here to Vegas; he had a basketball coach out here.”
Homicide detectives used both the Glendale community and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, an ATF database, in their investigation. Through NIBIN, ballistics matches concluded that the firearm used to kill Hills was also used in other criminal offenses.
The evidence gathered from the community and NIBIN databases led to the arrest of a 16-year-old, who was taken to a juvenile detention facility and booked on one count of first-degree murder on Friday.
“I just thank God that they caught him,” Hills said. “I heard they used to be friends, but they ended up falling out.”
Joletta Peery, Nakelyn’s aunt, told the The Republic that she received a call at 4:37 a.m., Friday morning, that a suspect had been arrested. “I cried, his mom cried, we were happy.”
The suspect has not been identified by Glendale police because he is in juvenile court. However, police said they may ask prosecutors to seek charges in adult court. The Republic typically does not identify juvenile suspects unless they are charged as adults.
Hills said her son lived at various places in Arizona, alternating between family, friends and “group homes,” which he would run from often, she said.
Hills said Nakelyn was one of eight children, leaving behind four brothers and three sisters.
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