Several dozen friends of 15-year-old Khoen Parker, who died after being shot last Sunday, gathered on Friday afternoon to remember him in one of the teen’s favorite hangouts—the downtown skatepark on South 27th Street.
Teens burned candles and released balloons into the air as they honored Parker, who was shot to death early Sunday morning.
Parker, a sophomore at Billings Senior High School, was shot in a parking lot on the southern border of the park, according to the Billings Police Department. He was then taken to a hospital by an unknown person in an unknown vehicle, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
“I remember him as more than brother, like more than a best friend—he feels like my other half. Everything I did was with Kohen, “said Jude Yates.
Yates says he and Parker became fast friends after meeting six or seven years ago—inseparable—until last weekend when he watched his friend die.
“I just remember people started shooting at us. We got in the car. I tried holding his wounds doing CPR the whole time. He just ended up going limp. We were busting every red light going like 70 trying to make it to the hospital,” Yates said.
It was too late for the teen, who was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. The fatal shooting happened in the parking lot of Castle Rock Park. Police have released little information in the case, but Yates says it was the result of an ongoing feud with another group of teens.
“We had problems with these kids for a while. They ended up saying they wanted to meet up and they wanted to come to my house. I told them we were just going to meet up somewhere, so we went to the Heights and then had stuff happen,” he says.
He says he’s frustrated that there have been no arrests in the death of his best friend.
“It doesn’t add up at all and I don’t know how they haven’t gotten anything because if they seize their phones, they’d see what they talk about,” he says.
“It’s just really weird and different not to have him there.”
Funeral services for Parker will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Faith Chapel. Parker’s family says anyone who would like to celebrate the teen’s life is welcome to attend.
Parker's grandparents have started a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral costs. Click here if you would like to donate.
Police continue to investigate and have not announced any arrests at this point.