ELKHART — Braxton Barhams was just like the typical 16-year-old, his family describes him.
He went to school, loved basketball and knew many people in the neighborhood.
Barhams was shot Saturday evening, June 22, near the intersection of Benham and Garfield Avenues. First responders were called at about 6:45 p.m. to 250 W. Garfield Ave., according to a press release from the Elkhart Police Department. Barhams was taken to Elkhart General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said they arrested a juvenile male early Sunday morning in the shooting.
Family members said they didn’t not know why Barhams was shot. He was on his way back home from the store on the corner of Benham and Indiana Avenues when the drive-by shooting happened, said Latrissa Lane, Barhams’s cousin.
Lane and Barhams’s mother heard the gunshots. The Barhams live less than a block away from where the shooting happened. At first they thought the sounds were from fireworks. But they looked out and saw some commotion. And then they heard a neighbor yelling Barhams had been shot.
Adrianna Wilson, was talking on the phone when she heard gunshots. She looked outside to see Barhams and two women who were with him running toward her backyard.
Wilson, Lane and Barhams’s mother stood around the victim as they waited for an ambulance.
“I saw him gasping for air, and I put a hand to his throat [to find a pulse,]” said Wilson.
The police department’s crime scene unit worked for several hours, blocking Benham Avenue between Indiana and Garfield Avenues.
By 10:30 p.m., the sidewalks on the 300 block Garfield Avenue remained full with curious neighbors and tragedy-stricken family members.
Umicha Baker, a cousin of Barhams’s, drove from South Bend to see her family. She said she was finding it hard to process the events from that evening.
“It’s just wrong,” she said.
Baker last saw her cousin a few weeks ago. Her children, however, saw him more often.
“He was a good kid,” she said. “He was a jokester, everyone knew him. He was the funny guy. This is going to be hard for [my kids.]”