Cumberland County News

Family of Fayetteville teen girl shot, killed speaks out

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) - The family of Breaunna Brown is mourning and speaking out.

The 16-year-old girl was shot and killed Wednesday. Her 21-year-old boyfriend, Timothy Swinson-Willis, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with her death.

"Can't just play with guns,” said Anthony Waytes, Brown's uncle.

It happened at Brown’s apartment on Wood Creek Drive in Fayetteville around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Her mother, too distraught to speak on camera, said she still hasn’t been able to go back into the apartment.

Brown was a sophomore at Westover High School.

"We just buried my grandmother three weeks ago. Now I'm here to bury my niece. It’s not the greatest feeling in the world to lose a backbone of the family and someone who never got a chance to live life,” Waytes said.

Waytes lives in Tennessee and jumped on a plane as soon as he heard the news. 

"Full of fun. Loved to dance. Loved her friends,” Waytes said.

He said his niece was shot in the face. While he believes it was an accident, he said Swinson-Willis shouldn’t have had a gun. 

"Anybody that has a gun should know what they're doing with it before they take it out and start to play with it. You're 21 years old. My niece is 16. You should have never been with her,” Waytes said.

Waytes said they didn’t know how old Swinson-Willis is. The couple had only been together for a few months. 

The family has organized a vigil for Saturday at 8 p.m. at Brown’s apartment on Wood Creek Drive.

They’ve also started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for funeral expenses:

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