Westlawn Middle mourning loss of student killed Friday

Westlawn Middle School

By WVUA 23 News Reporter A’Leeyah Ponder

The Westlawn Middle School community is experiencing a sudden, painful loss this month after eighth-grader Kei’lan Allen died in a drive-by shooting Friday.

Like plenty of other middle-schoolers, Kei’lan was spending the evening relaxing in his room with his iPad. Until bullets riddled his family’s home. No one else was harmed in the shooting, but Kei’lan did not survive. Three people are facing capital murder charges in his death.

“It could’ve been me,” said classmate Keldrick Johnson. “It could’ve been my little brother.”

Johnson, who lives near Kei’lan, said he didn’t hear the gunshots, but he was hoping he could hang out with Kei’lan that day.

“That same day it happened we were thinking about going over there and asking their mom could they come outside and play with us,” he said. “But we had to clean up so we didn’t go over there.”

Kei’lan’s teachers said he was always willing to use his knowledge to help his peers. 

On Tuesday, Westlawn faculty members shared stories in group counseling, remembering his positive influence, intelligence and how much of a light he was in the community.

“The untimely death of Kei’Lan has really had a huge impact on the community and school itself,” said Tuscaloosa City Schools Employee Assistance Program Counselor Donna Sargent. “Many of them are very sorrowful, mourning. This is a young man who had a huge impact.” 

Tuscaloosa City Schools is offering support for any students, faculty or staff. If you need assistance, reach out to school officials. 

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