DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Imani Taborn never thought she would have to bury her little brother, 15-year-old Ian Wells.
“I’ve changed this boys’ Pampers, I’ve fed him, I’ve clothed him,” she said of how she helped him while growing up. “I just put my 15-year-old little brother in the ground yesterday. I literally watched him drop him in the ground and throw dirt on him.”
Taborn said she let Wells borrow her minivan last Saturday. It was the last time they spoke.
“His last words to me was, ‘alright sis, I love you, I’ll see you tomorrow.’”
Wells took the minivan to a gas station on Alston Avenue in Durham. Police say someone shot Wells just before 1 a.m.
Taborn said her brother managed to get back in the van and drive away, but he didn’t make it far before being shot again. Wells eventually crashed the van near Angier and Alston Avenue, police said.
He died the next day at the hospital.
“He’s a baby. Like this is just unreal,” Taborn said of her brother’s death.
Wells just turned 15 on March 8. Taborn said he was a freshman at Person High School in Roxboro and played football.
“Ian is one of the most caring kids you would have ever met,” she said. “He helps women in the grocery store carry their groceries and put them in their car. You don’t find too many kids like that these days.”
Taborn said Wells was the baby of the family.
“It’s literally been my moms and her kids forever. And there’s six of us, he’s the youngest,” Taborn said. “We’re close — not a day that goes by where we’re not on the phone with each other, or where one of us isn’t on the way to go pick him up.”
Taborn described how she was feeling in the wake of Wells’ death.
“I am angry, I am mad, I am sad, I am upset, I am feeling every emotion that you would possibly think of.”
And she has these questions for whoever took her brother’s life: “How do you sleep at night? How do you open your eyes in the morning? You shouldn’t be able to function.”
Wells is the second teen to be shot and killed in Durham last week. Durham police found 18-year-old Joshua Garner shot to death inside of a car on Kirby and Chowan streets last Monday. No arrests have been made in either case.
“We have to have the resources to catch this in the beginning. Because hurt children turn into hurt adults and angered adults that won’t know how to handle their emotions and they lash out,” Taborn said about preventing more violence. “Mental health is real, and we need better resources so that we don’t have to continue to sit on this end of the table.”