Titusville teen facing murder charge had dispute with victim over girlfriend, family says

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A 17-year-old suspected of gunning down a 16-year-old in front of his home Sunday was remanded into custody as family members of the victims struggle to find answers in the case, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

Erien Dah’mir Jaquez Hampton, an 11th grade Titusville High student, was brought before Brevard Circuit Judge James H. Earp on Monday.

The teen stood quietly with his unshackled hands behind his back as Earp ordered him held in detention. None of his family members appeared in court for the session, which lasted less than five minutes. 

Titusville police charged Hampton with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Johntreavean Lashawn Tilley, a former student at Titusville High. Grief counselors were at the school Monday morning.

“My son knew him from school,” said Shameeka Kelly, whose son Johntreavean was shot and killed in front of their home Sunday.

Kelly also said that Erien had confronted her son about two weeks ago over a girl.

“The hard thing is that I’m not going to be able to touch my child. This was premeditated,” Kelly told FLORIDA TODAY.

The deadly shooting was reported about 4 p.m. Sunday in a residential area near the intersection of Booker Street and 3rd Avenue.

Johntreavean, the victim, was apparently near his family’s home when the barefooted suspect shot him.

"The preliminary investigation reveals that there was some type of previous dispute between these two juveniles," said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson in an emailed statement on the case.

Erien ran from the scene after the shooting, reports show. Kelly said she believed the suspect – who she said was also wearing a jacket despite the warm weather – was barefoot so that he could run.

Police said Hampton then pointed an unidentified caliber handgun at a witness who attempted to confront him moments after the shooting. 

The unnamed witness, however, stepped back. Multiple patrol cars responded within moments of the shooting, just west of South Hopkins Avenue. A number of family members were reportedly at the scene as paramedics arrived.

Medical workers transported Johntreavean to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Officers located Erien near a home on Nova Terrace a short time later. He was taken into custody without incident.

“It’s just not fair,” Kelly said, pointing out that the day before, there were marches nationwide calling for gun reform and calling for an end to gun-related violence. “My whole big issue is how these guns are getting in the hands of these kids. It’s totally out of control,” she said.

“But I don’t know what they can do about it now. These kids can just go out on the street and get a gun. I don’t know what can be done,” Kelly said.

Now Kelly, who has four children of her own and eight others she has brought into her family to raise, said she has to make plans to bury her son. “It’s a struggle,” she said.  

It was also not immediately known whether the state attorney’s office planned to charge Erien as an adult in the case. A hearing has been set for April 10.