Two teenagers who were shot to death execution-style in Hartford Thursday morning were participating in a botched robbery, Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said Friday.
Before their deaths, Kent McLaurin, 19, of Hartford, and Xion Davidson, 17, of West Hartford, were friends whose lives seemed to have taken very different paths, according to interviews with their families, friends and school officials.
Both their faces were partially covered with masks, one of the factors that led police to conclude they had tried to rob someone.
McLaurin, who was raised in West Hartford and Manchester, had chosen a thug lifestyle while he was attending Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, his father said Friday.
While living in Manchester, the boy's decision ``to terrorize other kids'' and steal their Halloween candy put him on a criminal path that led to his incarceration in juvenile detention centers at least three times since 2004, John McLaurin III said.
Police said Kent McLaurin was a member of the Bloods gang.
Davidson, on the other hand, was a stand-out football player at Conard High School in West Hartford. He was described by friends, his principal and family as a likable youth who had only minor scrapes with the law and was a decent student.
The investigation into their deaths is continuing, Roberts said. But as of late Friday, Roberts said, no suspects had been identified, although a possible motive had been established.
``We believe right now they were trying to rob somebody,'' he said. ``We are investigating this as a robbery gone bad.''
Roberts said detectives are no longer investigating the incident as a gang-related incident. ``Just because one of them was a Blood doesn't mean it was gang-related. He was a Blood who was killed committing a robbery. We don't want to alarm the public,'' he said.
Meanwhile, news of their deaths on Friday upset a lot of people in West Hartford and Hartford.
Davidson's mother was overcome with grief during an interview. ``He was a loving son,'' she said through a stream of tears. ``He liked to play football.''
Both youths had lived in West Hartford as young boys and met at Sedgwick Middle School, friends say. They remained friends after John McLaurin III -- then a single father and an engineer for the information-technology company Unisys -- moved his family to Manchester three years ago.
The elder McLaurin is deeply religious. And Kent McLaurin went to church and was taught the difference between right and wrong, according to his brother, John McLaurin IV.
But Kent ``got into hip-hop music and started to change,'' his brother said. ``He didn't want to listen to authority. He had a dual nature. He was loving around the family, and around his friends he took on a dark nature.''
Kent McLaurin was arrested in Manchester with three other youths for ``terrorizing other children'' while they were trick-or-treating, his father said. ``He said it himself. He had a clique, `one of many.'''
He could have gotten away with probation if he had cooperated with police, the elder McLaurin said. But he displayed a ``sense of blind, displaced loyalty for his friends,'' and he was sent to a state juvenile detention center for 18 months.
When he returned home, Kent McLaurin became more rebellious. He rejected appeals by his older brother to stop ``acting like a thug.'' It wasn't long before he had violated his probation. He was arrested again for stealing a bicycle, his father said, and was sent back to detention for another 18 months. His family watched as he turned into ``a tough guy.''
Robbery Led to Slayings
« Previous Story More Topic pages Next Story »
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.