Police: 8th Grader Shot, Killed After Stealing Car - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police: 8th Grader Shot, Killed After Stealing Car

Quavale Finnell (picture courtesy: Cincinnati Police Dept.) Quavale Finnell (picture courtesy: Cincinnati Police Dept.)

(CINCINNATI) -- Just about everybody in the neighborhood calls it a "horrible situation," that never should have happened.

Police say 14-year-old Quavale Finnell stole a car out of a Kennedy Heights driveway early Monday morning. The cars owner started the engine, then went inside while it heated up. Police believe Finnell saw the running car, jumped in and took off. They say the owner came out of the house and shot at the car as it drove away, killing Finnell before he got more than a block away.

Police have not released the shooter's name or decided if charges will be filed.

Danita Carter heard three gunshots from her home just a few houses down. She watched the stolen car barrel through two parked cars and stop on top of a stone front-yard fence. 

"He must have blacked out, his foot got stuck or something and he went into reverse and went back up the hill," Carter says.

Carter would later find out Finnell was driving the car. She had seen the 8th grader from Central Fairmont Elementary, playing on the street several times.

Finnell was Eric Brick's best friend.

"He's a nice boy. I don't know why he would do something like this," Brick says. "These [are] bad choices people make."

Brick and other people who know Finnell well, say he has stolen cars before. They say he was even arrested after one theft.

They also describe a boy who was in and out of trouble, almost as often as he was in and out of foster homes. Brandon Hanley, who was Finnell's foster-brother for five years, says he stayed out of trouble when he was in a stable home. But Hanley says Finnell's mother went back and forth on whether or not she could care for him.

"His mother had a lot of kids and it was hard to take care of them all at the same time, so I think that's what it boiled down to," Hanley says.

But neighbors on the Kennedy Heights street where Finnell was killed, say this really boils down parents taking care of their children. They say it's all too common lately, to have their homes broken into, or their cars stolen by young people. So many don't fault the man for turning to a gun to protect his property.

"I just feel like he did what he had to do," Carter says. "But at the same time, it was a car and kid lost his life. A young kid. I mean, what can you say?"

Powered by Frankly