WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of another teen in Wichita.
Police say officers responded to a burglary report in the 2600 block of N. Piatt around 10 p.m. Saturday. Officers found 16-year-old Joseph Florence with a gunshot. He died at an area hospital.
“He didn’t deserve to go out like that, you know, like he doesn’t deserve his last breath being that. He didn’t get to say goodbye to his mom,” said Blazé Santana, Joseph’s stepfather.
After a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds, police arrested that 16-year-old boy after learning there had been a fight between those two and Florence before the shooting. The 20-year-old ma, identified as Tyler Eugene Kelly, is out of the hospital from non-life-threatening injuries and has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.
“I opened up the door, there’s blood in Joseph’s room, there are bullet holes,” said Santana.
Florence’s family said he was an avid basketball player and hoped to make it big one day. Santa said the teen always wanted to play with him, but they never got the chance to do so.
“He was like, ‘I’m going to play you Blazé, you can’t beat me in basketball Blazé’ The park is right there, we didn’t get to play,” said Santana.
Despite Florence straying from his purpose in life, Santana says he was working towards getting back on that path to turn his life around.
“There were things he was working on, he was on the right track, there were things he wanted to do,” said Santana.
Investigators recovered two handguns during the investigation.