Advocates remember teen killed in Fayette Mall shooting
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Advocates and friends of Kenneth Wayne Bottoms, Jr, plead with the city for help in their communities.
They say if nothing is done now, more adults, teenagers and children will be killed by gun violence.
Family and friends of 17-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bottoms knew him as Kenny. He was killed during a shooting at Fayette Mall Sunday afternoon.
“We failed these children,” said at-risk teen advocate Corey Dunn said. “In one way or another, we all have failed these children, so I would encourage everyone to step up and get involved.”
An advocate for at-risk teens, Corey Dunn knew and worked with Kenny his whole life.
“If we don’t do a good job at our job, someone’s going to have a funeral. Someone’s going to go to prison,” Dunn said.
Dunn says Kenny is just one of the countless teens in the community killed by gun violence. He says many of the kids he works with have seen several friends and family members die by the time they’re Kenny’s age.
“They’re underprivileged, they’re uneducated, they’re beat down by society on a regular basis to the point they give up on school,” Dunn said. “They don’t believe that they can have a long prosperous life, they don’t see a future for themselves, so their behavior is somewhat erratic.”
Teen advocate Logan Avritt worked with Kenny and 18-year-old Mykel Waide, who was killed just one week ago.
“You see your friend, you feel like he made it to the finish line, he was there. Then his life was cut short. So why should I continue down this path? Look what happened to my friend,” Avritt said.
He says many kids start carrying guns early on for protection in a community they feel has been forgotten and overlooked by the rest of the city.
“The higher-ups in this city, you know, they have to start coming down here,” Avritt said. “Meeting with the guys and the families that suffer this everyday and really see the trauma that’s taking place in these communities.”
Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.