Suspect arrested for college student’s murder in Parkway Village

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A suspect is in custody for the murder of a LeMoyne-Owen College student in Parkway Village on New Year's Day.

17-year-old Jaylen Clayton was arrested late Monday and charged with first degree murder and attempted murder for Sunday's shooting that killed 18-year-old Kiara Tatum.

Police say Clayton was one of two men who fired shots into a crowd on Danville Road Sunday night, killing Tatum.

His arrest came hours after friends and family held a candlelight vigil to remember Tatum.

“In a blink of an eye, my niece left the house — five minutes later she was dead,” Tatum’s aunt said.

“She’s not a gang member, she not a thug,” Thelma Ellis, the victim’s grandmother, said.

Tatum graduated from Sheffield High School and was a college student at LeMoyne-Owen College with dreams of becoming a nurse.

“Y’all know NuNu was always the life of the party, always the life of the party. Always smiling,” someone at the vigil remembered.

“She never do nothing to anybody, like anybody," said Joshua Thompson. "So, why did this happen to her?”


Longtime friends hoped Tatum’s death would be a wake-up call after homicides in Memphis spiked to a record 228 last year.

“You can’t cry every time somebody die and keep killing each other,” a friend screamed.

“Why you keep on killing people but you saying black lives matter? That’s a black life you just took away,” Thompson said.