MANDEL: Killer guilty of manslaughter in teen’s death during attempted robbery

Article content

It wasn’t Jeremiah Ranger’s fault that the troubled kid was born and raised in the ‘hood.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

It wasn’t Seymour Young’s fault that he was physically abused by his father and at 16, was kicked out of the house and forced to fend for himself — eventually selling marijuana to keep a roof over his head.

On a tragic evening in April 2020, their two lives violently collided, leaving Ranger dead and Young facing prison for manslaughter.

Jeremiah lived with his mom and four siblings in public housing in the Jane and Sheppard neighbourhood. Labelled a behavioural problem from an early age, he’d already amassed a police file 234 pages long by the age of 15 and had been bounced from so many schools that he’d stopped going altogether.

“A lot of people want to judge my little brother for his behaviour. I heard the people say, ‘Jeremiah was a bad person.’ I believe they thought, he deserved to die,” wrote his sister Kayla in her victim impact statement.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“But Jeremz,” she continued, using her nickname for him, “did not deserve to die. Jermz was just a kid that grew up in the ‘hood. Jermz didn’t ask to be born here and he did not ask to be influenced by the things he was influenced by.”

On April 26, 2020, he told his mom he’d be right back. Eight minutes later, she felt a sensation she’d never experienced before. And then a neighbour came pounding on her door.

The next time she was able to touch her son was as she dressed him at the funeral home.

“Jeremiah was shot with a gun and died on the pavement, next to a dumpster. He had lived 16 days past his 15th birthday. And not one more,” wrote Pastor Bill Sunberg in a letter filed with the court.

“Jeremiah Ranger was a difficult case,” he said. “The systems in Jeremiah Ranger’s life let him down. The police. The schools. The church. We could have done so much better. We should have done so much better.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Young, 23, had pulled up in an SUV with his brother and girlfriend. After being laid off from his roofing job, court heard he’d turned to selling marijuana and used an Instagram account to arrange his sales.

Young rolled down the passenger window to complete the transaction. Instead, Jeremiah jumped into the back, told him he was being robbed and produced a gun.

It was just an imitation firearm but Young didn’t know that. He pulled his real gun and fired once — aiming low. As Jeremiah turned to flee, he was hit in the buttocks.

The shot severed an artery. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

In October, Young pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was in virtual court Wednesday for his sentencing hearing. The Crown said an eight-year prison term was necessary as a strong message to others involved with guns and drugs.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“Mr. Young decided to bring a loaded handgun to a drug deal and a 15-year-old is dead because of it. Yes, Jeremiah had a replica handgun. But that does not change the fact that, but for Mr. Young bringing his gun, nobody would have been shot that day.”

Defence lawyer Craig Bottomley urged restraint considering Young was a remorseful, young Black first offender and called for a five-year term.

In her victim impact statement, Krystal Ranger said she’d tried so hard to get her son help while living in what people dismiss as “The Projects.” On the eve of her 37th birthday, she became what she never imagined — another mother grieving a child lost to gun violence.

“It is a cold-blooded killing,” she wrote, “and having a loved one taken at the hands of another, a total stranger for a nonsensical reason, it is unfathomable in the way that we separated.”

  1. Jeremiah Ranger was fatally shot outside 1884 Sheppard Ave. W. on Sunday, April 26, 2020.

    Video shows 15-year-old victim fleeing SUV after fatal gunshot

  2. Police have released images of a man they say ditched a loaded handgun under a car during a shooting at a memorial service for a 15-year-old boy in Sept. 2020.

    Police release photo of memorial shooting suspect

For his part, Young said he’s hoping his guilty plea will help her heal.

“I did not mean to kill Mr. Ranger,” he wrote in his affidavit, “and I am deeply sorry his life was cut short. Every day I regret what happened and I am particularly tormented by the thought that his mother must carry on without her son.”

Justice Maureen Forestell has reserved her decision.

mmandel@postmedia.com

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world