MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Six teenagers were charged with homicide Thursday in the beating death of an eighth-grader whose head was rammed into a high school bathroom wall during a gang-related attack, authorities said.
While prosecutors said the attack occurred during a gang initiation (search), the victim's family said the boy was not a gang member and was probably targeted for refusing to join.
"Young people in our community should know if you join a gang there is a good chance that one of two things will happen: You will end up in prison or, worse, end up dead," said District Attorney General Bill Gibbons.
Three of the teens charged with reckless homicide in the attack are 13 years old. One is 14 and two are 15.
A medical examiner was investigating the cause of death, but police have said they believe Williams' head had been slammed into a wall.
Memphis schools spokesman Vince McCaskill said the school will have more staff members watching the halls, and teachers will escort students to and from lunch, which is when the fight is believed to have occurred.