Bakersfield native shot, killed refusing to give up cell phone

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Bakersfield native Jerry Sherrell left his apartment in Miami to buy cigarettes. Miami police said the 54-year-old man was less than a block from his apartment when he was held at gunpoint by two teens.

"My dad refused to give them the cell phone and they shot him," said Wyona Weeden, Sherrell's daughter.

Police said 16-year-old Gregory Cooper and a 14-year-old unidentified boy are the suspects. When Sherrell resisted, the 14-year-old shot him several times, police said. Sherrell was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he died. Police arrested Cooper afterwards and is charged with first-degree murder. The 14-year-old remains on the loose.

"I know that I have to forgive them, but it's hard because they didn't show any mercy on my dad," said Weeden.

Sherrell was born and raised in Bakersfield where he worked as a construction worker and truck driver before moving to Arkansas to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. For the past year and a half, he was working in Miami on the Port of Miami tunnel project. He was set to return to Arkansas on Friday.

"He was packing to go home back to Arkansas to take his 16-year-old granddaughter a car he had bought her for her birthday," Wyona Weeden said.

To make matters worse, Sherrell's mother is terminally ill with cancer. Sherrell leaves behind family and friends in Bakersfield.

"My dad was an amazing man, he loved to hang out with his grand kids, that was everything," said Weeden.

A memorial service for Sherrell in Bakersfield is pending.

Eyewitness News Reporter Jose Gaspar later spoke with Sherrell's niece Amanda Abbott.