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Garrett Burton (16) was shot to death in retaliation for throwing eggs at cars
Published: Sep 17, 2008 @ 12:19 AM
Garrett Burton (16)
Aug 30, 2008
Cause of Death:
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First, a moment of silence. Then the Westland High School band played the school's alma mater in memory of Garrett P. Burton at last night's football game.
The 16-year-old junior was shot and killed early yesterday, apparently in retaliation for throwing eggs at vehicles driving on Hilliard-Rome Road. Columbus police said Garrett died at the scene just before 3 a.m.
Garrett and at least one other boy were in the backyard of a house at 5402 Ripplemead Court when someone shot him in the head.
His grieving family came to the game last night to honor him. They hung a poster with his name, birthday, the day he was killed and a message from his mom, Patti.
They stood on the field with their arms around each other when those in the stadium stopped to remember Garrett.
"It was a dumb juvenile prank. Get your car washed, don't kill my kid," George Burton said about his son.
Burton, a Columbus police officer, didn't know details of the case or why his son was out so late, just that Garrett had been "out egging."
Garrett was killed in Ramiro Toribio's backyard, which backs up to Hilliard-Rome Road. A white plank fence and a line of trees buffer traffic noise. The area between the fence and the trees also could provide cover for teens to play pranks on passing motorists.
Toribio didn't hear the shot; police knocking at his door woke him up about 3 a.m.
"They said, 'Don't go outside; there's a dead person in your backyard,' " he said. He said Garrett's body was removed by the coroner's office about 8:30 a.m.
Toribio and his family have lived in the house since 2000. He said it's a quiet neighborhood.
His daughter, Laura, is a student at Westland and knew Garrett.
"She said he was a very likable kid," Toribio said. "For someone to kill a kid because of that is beyond belief."
News of Garrett's death spread quickly around this Far West Side community. Students sent text messages to each other and talked about the tragedy at the game.
Paige Turner, 15, said Garrett was in some of her classes. She was shocked when she heard that he'd been killed.
"It's really sad because he's really nice and he's never mean," she said.
Garrett tried out for the Westland football team last year but decided "it wasn't in him," his dad said. Garrett's older brother, Georden, was a linebacker on the Westland team until he graduated this year.
People described Garrett as quiet, very polite and helpful. He worked at Kroger and loved to golf, bowl and play basketball.
Another Columbus teen was killed in connection with an egging incident in 2006. Danny Crawford, 14, was shot and killed on the Hilltop after a group of boys he was with threw an egg at a car. No one has been charged in his death.
Anyone with information about Garrett's death is asked to call Columbus homicide detectives at 614-645-4730. His death was the 65th Columbus homicide this year.
Boy, 16, killed after egging cars
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