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15-year-old shoots, kills 16-year-old in Racine over gang conflict, complaint says

Zontell M. Junior, 15, is facing one felony count of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon.
Racine Police Department
Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 17, 2022

RACINE, Wis. — A 15-year-old from Racine was recently charged in connection to the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Racine boy.

Zontell M. Junior, 15, is facing one felony count of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, online court records show.

A criminal complaint released Wednesday states the shooting happened Friday near Case and De Koven. When police arrived, they found 16-year-old Quentin Smith shot in the head in a driveway. People were also on scene trying to apply pressure to his wounds. Smith was taken to a hospital and airlifted to Milwaukee where he later died from his injuries. Racine police arrested Junior the following day.

RELATED COVERAGE: 16-year-old killed in Racine, 15-year-old arrested

Investigators spoke to a boy who said he was outside of his home with Smith and "ZTELL." ZTELL was identified as Junior. The complaint says Smith came over to the boy's home to buy marijuana. Smith then called Junior to come over and the three boys all smoked together.

The boy told investigators Junior told him he was going to shoot Smith because he "messes with the opps" or opposition. The boy said that means Smith associates with the Dirty P's, a south side gang in Racine. The boy said Junior is associated with NFL Vice Lord gang, a north side gang. According to the complaint, the two gangs are rivals. The boy said he told Junior not to shoot Smith.

While the three were in the driveway, the boy said he was using Junior's phone to talk to someone in juvenile detention when he heard a loud gun shot. When he turned around, he saw Smith fall to the ground and Junior had a gun in his hands, according to the complaint. The boy said he yelled at Junior and then ran inside to tell his mom. Junior ran inside and took his phone back from the boy before leaving the scene.

According to the complaint, an investigator was able to get a recorded copy of the phone call with the individual in juvenile detention, confirming what the boy told police. The phone call also confirmed the boy's reaction was shock, indicating he did not know the shooting was going to happen.

Police obtained video footage from residences showing Junior's flight path after the fatal shooting. The complaint says Junior ran to his home on Phillips Avenue. Police searched the home and did not find any evidence. Junior was later located at his grandmother's home on Saturday. The complaint says the grandmother said he might have slept in a tent in her backyard.

After arresting Junior, investigators interviewed him. Junior admitted to being at the crime scene at the time of the homicide. He said he was in the backyard using the bathroom when he heard a shot and then ran home.

When Junior was confronted about the recorded phone call from the juvenile detention, he initially denied the call before admitting to receiving it. When investigators told Junior they listened to the call and know the boy was on the phone when Smith was shot, Junior seemed surprised. The complaint says Junior was then told the boy told investigators Junior was the one who shot Smith. Junior said he wanted to show officers something on his phone, but when he was told officers would need to be the ones to open the phone and look at it with him, he then admitted to deleting his call log.

The complaint also says Junior said Smith was killed by a 'Ghost Glock,' in reference to a Glock-style pistol with no serial number so that it cannot be tracked by law enforcement.

A $500,000 cash bond was set for Junior on Wednesday. He is due back in court Aug. 24 for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Smith's family cover funeral expenses. Head to Smith's GoFundMe to make a donation.

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