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Death Of Okmulgee County Teenager Ruled A Homicide

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Picture of Landon Jewell Picture of Landon Jewell
12-year-old Thomas Barbee, Landon Jewell's Uncle. 12-year-old Thomas Barbee, Landon Jewell's Uncle.

Chris Wright, News On 6 and NewsOn6.com

HENRYETTA, Oklahoma -- The death of a 13-year-old Henryetta boy has been ruled a homicide according the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office.

State Medical Examiner's Office spokesperson Cherokee Ballard says Landon Jewell's death was due to a gunshot wound to the head. Jewell died after being shot Friday night.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Jewell was shot at a home located in the 1000 block of West Cummings Street in Henryetta just after 7 p.m. Friday.

12/11/2010 Related Story: 13-year-old Boy Shot, Killed In Henryetta

No arrests have been made, and the teen's family is still struggling to make sense of his death.

"He was awesome to hang around with. We had a lot of fun together," said 12-year-old Thomas Barbee, Landon Jewell's Uncle.

Thomas had a unique relationship with Landon Jewell. He was one of his best friends, as well as his uncle.

"He would go to school and tell people I am his uncle, and they'd be like what? He's younger than you," Thomas said.

Thomas describes his nephew the same way many others did during his memorial service in Henryetta Sunday.

He says the 13-year-old loved football, was well-liked, and always had a smile on his face.

"He would always make you laugh. When you meet him for the first time, you would think wow, he's a good kid," he said.

While ruled a homicide, exactly what happened Friday night remains under investigation. Relatives say Landon was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They say two other boys were arguing over a girl when the gun went off.

"I couldn't comprehend it the first day. I didn't want to believe it. Me and my dad, we were going to the store. I was just asking him, 'Is it really true? Did he really die?" Thomas said.

As reality continues to set in, Thomas wants to keep his nephew's memory alive. He's created a memorial page on Facebook, but says life won't be the same without Landon.

"He wasn't like a nephew to me. He's more like a brother, or a very good friend," he said.

Landon's funeral will be held on Friday, but the family is struggling to pay for it. A memorial fund has been set up in his name. Donations can be made at any Citizens Security Bank branch.

Henryetta school official say grief counselors are on hand this week for students who are struggling with this loss.

12/12/2010 Related story: Vigil Held For Slain Henryetta Teenager Sunday

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