Stone County investigators arrest juvenile in deadly shooting

NEAR BOAZ, Mo. -- A 33-year-old Stone County man is dead and the suspect in the homicide is his own son.

The Stone County Sheriff's Department says a juvenile is in custody for the deadly shooting on Tuesday.

Deputies first responded to the shooting at 11:45 a.m. at a home on Richwood Schoolhouse Road in northern Stone County, south of Boaz.

Javen A. Mitchell, 33, died Wednesday at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

Family members say the man and his 15-year-old son, who was a student at Clever High School, were the only two people home at the time of the alleged crime.

“All I know to say is, it’s a nightmare," The Victim's Mother, and Suspect's Grandmother, Yvette Mitchell said.

As Ms. Mitchell mourns the loss of her son, Javen, her 15-year-old grandson sits behind bars. He's the suspect in his father's murder.

“At this time, our grandson, looks like he’s the one that did this. We don’t know for sure, but I know the detective promised me that he would not put us through this if he didn’t have a lot of evidence towards it being our grandson," Mitchell said.

Stone County deputies began investigating the shooting as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, detectives say evidence found at the scene did not support that.

“Some of the evidence did not support that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. We realized we were dealing with a homicide scene," Sheriff Doug Rader said.

Deputies arrested the boy Wednesday night. Ms. Mitchell says the teen claims he’s done nothing wrong.

“He still is saying he didn’t do this," Mitchell said.

Still, Ms. Mitchell hopes that, if her grandson is convicted, he receives mental help.

“I want prayers that the judge and the court will treat him as a child and not as an adult and that they will get him psychiatric help, because if he did this, he has some major psychiatric problems," Mitchell said.

She's also using this time to encourage other teens dealing with issues to seek help before something like this happens.

"Especially teenagers, if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and you think you're going through so much stuff that you can't handle it, ask for help. There is help out there and you can't be ashamed to ask for help. It's not worth taking your own life, it's not worth taking your parent's life," Ms. Mitchell said.

Formal charges against the boy are pending.

"When dealing with juveniles, everything is done through the Missouri Juvenile Office," Sheriff Rader said.

Meanwhile, Javen's wife, also the suspect's mother, is pregnant with her late husband's baby.

"She is trying to hold up and she's trying to be strong because she is going to have a baby," Ms. Mitchell said.

Throughout the investigation, Ms. Mitchell is hoping that the rest of her family will be left alone, especially her other grandchildren who attend Clever Schools.

"I would really like our other grandchildren not to be bullied. We all just need a lot of prayer," Mitchell said.

Ms. Mitchell says her grandson will be in court on Monday.

A donation fund for Javen's wife and unborn child has been set up.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader says this is an ongoing investigation. He asks you to call investigators if you know anything more about the case.

Clever Police Chief Darren Whisnant says he put the school on lockdown Wednesday after learning one of the students was the suspect. The school was on lockdown for about an hour as a precautionary measure. Chief Whisnant wants to be clear the suspect did not make any threats to the school or its students.