Mother of young shooting victim says son's death wasn't murder

Death is a hard thing for teenagers to understand. This week at South Laurel High School in London many of them are finding an outlet in the form of words.

”It’s never easy. And there’s never a right way or a wrong way to handle grief at this age,” says South Laurel H.S. principal Regina Bishop.

So they wrote messages on a poster board that will be given to the family of 15 year old Craig Hammack, who was shot and killed on Saturday. The 9th grader had just become active in his school’s junior ROTC. Greif counselors were busy at the high school on Monday.

“A nice young man who liked to talk about hunting and fishing, working on cars and motorcycles,” says Jr. ROTC Col. Mark Jones.

The suspect in this case is another young man, another 15 year old who now is charged as a juvenile. Authorities are not releasing his name but the Laurel County Assistant County Attorney tells me that they may charge him as an adult once the legal process enters that phase.

Margaret Hammock, the victim’s mother, says the other boy should not be charged with her son’s murder.

“They were best friends. That’s all I can say. They were best friends. They wouldn’t do it to one another,” she said Monday, claiming the shooting on Saturday was only an accident.

The suspect is being held in a juvenile detention hearing in Breathitt County. His first court hearing is Tuesday afternoon. Funeral services for Craig Hammack are set for 1 p.m. Thursday at Bowling Funeral Home in London. Visitation will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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