A 17-year-old boy killed last weekend was strangled, not shot, his mother and police now say.
In a press release Sunday morning, the Durham Police Department said it was investigating a homicide in the 2800 block of Courtney Creek Boulevard. Officers dispatched just before 10 p.m. Saturday found a young man lying outside with an apparent gunshot wound. On Monday, police identified the teenager as Jyireh Holeman.
On Wednesday police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said a preliminary autopsy shows Holeman was strangled.
Holeman's mother, Shani Holeman, had also said in an interview Tuesday that police had told her that her son was strangled.
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She said her son was attending a party to watch the Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill basketball game when an altercation broke out.
"I don't know if he knew them, if he was just there with friends," she said.
Detectives told Shani Holman her son was strangled by a person who was much larger than him, she said.
Shani Holeman last saw her son around 3 p.m. Saturday.
"We went to the Family Dollar," she said. She bought washing powder. He bought a package of Twix.
Shani Holeman texted her son at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, she said. He responded that he was at a friend's house.
She texted him again around midnight, but he never responded. Shani Holeman and other family members continued to try to reach her son Sunday, she said, but it kept going straight to his voicemail.
Shani Holeman filed a missing person report Sunday evening, and an investigator came to her house around noon Monday and said her son was found strangled Saturday night.
Shani Holeman is a mother of three and Jyireh was her oldest. He was an 11th-grader at Hillside High School, she said.
"He was a very, very outgoing person," she said. "Funny. Loved to laugh."
On Dec. 14, Jyireh Holeman pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, as part of plea deal. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation. The conditions included that he was to enroll and make progress in a high school or GED program, participate in the gang-intervention program Project Build and forfeit guns and any contraband to police.
An arrest warrant was issued for Jyireh Holeman on Feb. 16 for probation violation. According to court documents, his violations included not reporting an address change, failing a drug test and missing an appointment with a probation officer.
Shani Holeman said her son wasn't involved with a gang and that there is no connection between his conviction and his death.