Some Say Teen Who Was Shot and Killed Is 'The New Trayvon Martin'
It’s a case that some say has chilling similarities to Trayvon Martin of a white male shooting an unarmed black teenager. This tragedy happened in Milwaukee and it was all caught on surveillance tape.
Seventy-seven-year-old John Henry Spooner lived on West Arrow Street. His next door neighbor was Patricia Larry.
A video showed Patricia’s 13-year-old son, Darius, taking out the garbage. Spooner was watching. Then, the Army veteran ducked inside and returns brandishing a 9mm handgun. There was a shocking confrontation which took place as Patricia watched from her front porch.
Patricia told INSIDE EDITION, "He's looking up at the door an he says 'Mom.'"
Darius tried to flee to the safety of his house, but Spooner blocked him.
"He was scared. He was frightened. He didn’t know what to do," Patricia said.
Suddenly, the elderly man opened fire.
Patricia said, “He grabbed his chest and yelled, 'Ow.'”
Darius was gravely wounded. As he ran for his life, Spooner fired again. Patricia held her dying son in her arms.
Patricia emotionally said, "I told him, Momma was sorry that she couldn't do nothing to help him."
Spooner was charged with first degree murder. Just five days after the George Zimmerman trial came to an end, Spooner took the stand.
Spooner was asked in court, “You felt like it was justice shooting that boy, right?"
“Yes, I did,” he replied.
Unlike the George Zimmerman case, there was no claim of self-defense. Spooner said he believed the teenager had broken into his house and stolen four weapons. But police and his mom said Darius was in school when the burglary occurred, and he had nothing to do with it.
The victim's lawyer, Jonathan Safran, told INSIDE EDITION, “He had this misbelief in his mind, this rage in his heart, that he should be judge jury and executioner.”
George Zimmerman was acquitted, but this case ended differently. Spooner was found guilty. Spooner faced the judge earlier this week for sentencing.
He said in court, "I don't know if I did right or wrong.” He got life in prison.
The judge said, “There should be no light at the end of the tunnel for yourself.”
Patricia said, “I sat there and watched him. No remorse. I was hurt because he took my child away from me.”
She has moved. She says she cannot face the pain of knowing her son's life ended at that home. She says she'll always feel a connection to Trayvon Martin's parents.
“My heart goes out to the family of Trayvon Martin,” she said.