Erica Jones

‘It's Unreal': Teen Killed Over Christmas Present, Mother Says

A grieving mother says someone shot and killed her 17-year-old son over a pair of shoes she gave him for Christmas.

The shooting happened Monday night on a basketball court at the Frederick Douglass Community Center in Southeast D.C.

Benita Smith says her son, James Smith, was wearing the new Air Jordans she gave him as an early Christmas present when he was shot and killed.

Someone tried to steal the teen's shoes, and after an argument, gunfire erupted, sources familiar with the case told Benita Smith. Witnesses say they heard more than 10 shots fired. 

"I still haven't taken it in yet. I still don't believe it. It's untrue. It's unreal to me," Benita Smith said. 

Tamela Harris has lived in the neighborhood for a couple years and says there is a lot of gunfire in the area. 

"It's really terrifying because you can't send your children outside to play," Harris said. 

Police have not made any arrests and have not commented on a motive in the case. 

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