OAKLAND -- Funeral services will be held Feb. 13 for Denzell "Bean " Jones, the 15-year-old boy fatally shot Saturday night along with a family friend outside the Boys and Girls Club branch in West Oakland.
His grieving aunt, Sonya Foster Owens, remembered Denzell on Tuesday as a "charismatic" young man friendly to all who was an excellent student at McClymonds High School and dreamed of joining the U.S. Air Force.
"No one was a stranger to him," said Foster Owens, 50. "He was very polite. He was an A and B student who liked math and basketball and loved his mom to death. He loved everybody."
She said the family believes Denzell "was in the wrong place at the wrong time," when he was killed. He and the man killed, 35-year-old Kanem Ayers, who Foster Owens said was the boyfriend of one of Denzell's older sisters, may have been on their way to get something to eat when they were shot.
The shooting happened about 10:45 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of 24th Street, not far from where Denzell lived. Ayers also lived in the area.
Foster Owens said even though she and her sister, Erika Smith, Denzell's mother, came to the scene of the shooting, it is still hard for her to accept his violent death.
"It's still hard for me to believe," she said. "It's not like he passed away but that he is away and he is coming back. It's still unreal."
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 13 at Fouche's Hudson Funeral Home, 3665 Telegraph Ave., in Oakland. Foster Owens said Denzell's favorite color was red and that the family requests those planning to attend to wear white and red clothing with white dominating the red.
"He touched a lot of peoples' lives being only 15 years old," she said.
Police have not made any arrests and have not established a motive. Up to $20,000 in reward money is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Those with information can call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.