Gideons' Home on Glendale Avenue (Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
(CLEVELAND) - Two 15 year-old boys are expected to be tried as adults in the Black Friday murder of 12 year-old Abdel Bashiti. Tavion Gideons was arrested by police and U.S. Marshals at 8:50 Tuesday morning for his alleged role in the exchange of gunfire between two groups of boys along Buckeye Road. One of the bullets killed Bashiti, while five other young people were injured. Three were still in the hospital in critical condition as of Monday. Amir Taylor was arrested days ago and also faces charges related to the murder. Police said more juveniles could be arrested.
Abdel Latif Bashiti (Photo by WKYC)
At Gideons' home on Glendale Avenue, WTAM's Ken Robinson spoke with his great grandmother Ruth, who claimed Gideons was not the gunman. "He's innocent, he was not there," Ruth said. She went on to say that Gideons was in Garfield that day and was back home when the shooting took place. But like so many of his friends, Ruth said Gideons hung around the kids who may be responsible for the shooting. "I think he wanted to feel like he was important. He wanted to be with the group, with the people who are out here doing this stuff," she said. "He wasn't going to do it, he didn't want to do that stuff," she said, but claimed Gideons wanted to make a name for himself by hanging around with others. "But like I told him, a name doesn't mean anything, unless it's the name of Jesus." Ruth did not want her last name used in this story.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said both teens will be charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder, among other charges. "These individuals did some significant damage to people's lives." Because the suspects are 15, and not 16, the process by which their cases are sent to adult court is discretionary, meaning that a judge will have to decide whether to try them as adults.