PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - As the Miles family copes with trying to bury one teenager, another sits behind bars accused of killing his first cousin. The family says since Tyrelle and Martavious were so close, they believe the shooting was not intentional.
"There wasn't any beef between my two nephews," explained the boys' aunt Susan Koen. "My two nephews hung out together every day. Every day and everybody knows that."
Koen, the family spokesperson and aunt of Tyrelle Kynard and Martavious Miles, says the news of Miles' arrest for Kynard's murder shocked the entire family. As far as they know, Kynard was not the intended target.
"All they know is people were shooting and a bullet hit my nephew and, they say, the gun that he was shooting with was the bullet," Koen said. "But, it's not like he shot my nephew down. He didn't shoot his cousin down."
Koen showed this picture of the two boys as children, dancing at a family reunion, to prove the cousins have always been more like best friends. And while Koen tells me she's not sure why Miles had a gun at all -- saying "I don't have the answer to that."
This tragic situation leaves the family preparing to bury one 17-year-old and leaves the other teenager behind bars. Now, Koen says the entire family is pulling together to ensure that both boys know they're loved and that love isn't forgotten for either of them.
Koen said "Martavious, we love you baby. You know we love you. We know it was an accident. We're going to get through this thing."
The Phenix City Police Department said in a release that this is still an ongoing investigation with no further information about the case available at this time. Tyrelle Kynard will be laid to rest on Saturday.
A memorial fund has been set up to help with funeral arrangements at Wells Fargo locations under the name Tyrelle Kynard.