KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Police in Independence, Missouri say a 17-year-old identified as a person of interest in a social media video that went viral has turned himself in.
Earlier Tuesday, police were looking for the teen, who was wanted for questioning in connection to a social media video showing a juvenile victim being held at gunpoint and later punched several times.
The teen turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
Police said they have two other juveniles in custody.
41 Action News spoke with the boy being victimized in the video, 13-year-old Derrin Weddle. He has several bruises on his face and cuts on his arms, but he said he’s doing good now.
Weddle said he was on his way to a friend’s house when he passed by a home where the suspects were. Weddle and his younger brother said the suspects jumped him because of a rumor.
One suspect is seen in the video holding a phone in one hand and pointing a gun to Weddle’s head in the other, as Weddle kneels on the pavement.
Another boy is shown repeatedly punching Weddle as he continues to back away.
Weddle said he didn’t understand why they were targeting him but felt the right thing to do was not to fight back.
“I didn’t know if the gun was real or not. All that was going through my mind is that if I got shot what would my brother feel, what would my mom feel?” Weddle said.
Weddle’s mom, Emily Bridges, said she teaches her boys to defend themselves but knew the other boys could’ve jumped in if her son fought back.
Bridges said she hopes the suspects get the help they need.
“The social media stuff is bad because it gets out, but I do feel like since it’s got out so much that it’ll raise awareness to other kids that it’s not okay,” Bridges said.
The video was shared more than 1,000 times on social media, and police said they started their investigation Monday night.