Family of slain Nashville teen frustrated as case goes cold

Dejuan Lytle (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Broderick Hamlett and his family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday without Dejuan Lytle Jr, 16, for the second time.

His absence is a painful reminder of his murder and the fact no one has been charged in connection with his July 14, 2015 shooting death at the Tony Sudekum public housing development in South Nashville.

“Somebody is supposed to be in jail. It’s just frustrating to know they are walking around like he never existed,” Hamlett told News 2. ”I don’t know how to explain that to someone.”

The scene of Dejuan Lytle's murder on July 14, 2015. (Photo: WKRN)
The scene of Dejuan Lytle’s murder on July 14, 2015. (Photo: WKRN)

According to Metro police, Lytle was sitting on a porch when a group of young men approached and an argument started.

During the argument, at least one of the men shot Lytle in the stomach. He died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Hamlett told News 2 that people who know the family have named the four others who were at the home the night of the shooting, and they know who pulled the trigger.

“They are all saying they were there but blaming each other for shooting my grandson,” Hamlett said. “They should just charge all of them and let them sit in jail. Someone will start to talk.”

News 2 is not naming the four teens because they have not been charged with a crime in connection with Lytle’s death.

Dejuan Lytle (Photo: WKRN)
Dejuan Lytle (Photo: WKRN)

Metro police told News 2 Lytle’s case went to the cold case division earlier this month, but it is still being actively investigated.

Metro police consider any unsolved homicide that is one year or older to be a cold case. The cases are reviewed by detectives to determine if new technology or evidence exists that may help to resolve the case, according the Metro-Nashville police website.

Cases are reviewed any time additional information becomes available.

Broderick Hamlett at Dejuan Lytle's grave (Photo: WKRN)
Broderick Hamlett at Dejuan Lytle’s grave (Photo: WKRN)

Police said they need witnesses to come forward who can give them more evidence about who shot and killed Lytle.

The 16-year-old was the oldest of eight children and father to a one-year-old child. His murder has devastated his mother, who has worked to keep her son’s case on the front burner.

Both Lytle’s mother and his grandfather have regularly contact Metro police and the District Attorney’s office about his murder investigation.

“Not only is her child dead the people who killed him have no consequences,” Hamlett said. “If you let them walk around they beat it anyway, so why would they not kill your child.”

If you have any information about Lytle’s murder contact Metro Nashville Police’s cold case division at 615-862-7329 or you can call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.