Unsolved: 10 years later, teen athlete's killer still unknown

Tampa police are still hoping to solve the killing of C.J. Mills, a high school athlete.

Cedric Jamar "C.J." Mills' sister was just feet away, when he was shot.

"He was walking from the driveway area to the porch. I was standing by the door," she says.

"He told me to tell my mom he loved her."

A promising young man, gunned down in the front of his home.

"My dad came back, he told dad he wasn't going to make it."

As he laid dying, he asked his father to make a promise.

"To please, just to find out who did this to him."

C.J. Mills was an outstanding young linebacker on the Jefferson High School football team. Teammates remember every time he set foot on the field, they knew it was time to give their all.

But even as they tried to work through the pain of his loss just days after his death,  no one could make sense of his loss.

"What was the reason? It's senseless, and we still don't have any answers."

Tampa Police Detective Neil Smith is trying to keep C.J's dying wish,  to find the two men who gunned him down.

"Two black males who were masked got out of the car ... brandishing pistols," said Smith. "The sister is coming outside, they point a pistol at her. Next thing you know, she hears a shot and C.J. falls to the ground."

Even as C.J. was lying mortally wounded, he looked up and begged his sister to stay inside the house, protecting her from the killers as they ran away.

"Obviously dealing with people that have done this before ...not even a second thought," Smith said.

It's been 10 years since C.J's murder.. and no one, not one soul, has come forward with information to help crack this case.

But you and I both know somebody has information about this, somebody knows what happened. So why?

Well, there is a perception about people who help police. "Snitching," as it's called, is frowned upon.

Well, folks, it's time to get over that false perception -- because if we don't stop murderers from killing people in broad daylight. It could very well happen to you.

"It's an uphill battle that we fight everyday," Smith says. "The 'no snitch' policy is real. People are in fear of retaliation, and retaliation is real."

In the months and days after C.J.'s death, numerous rallies were held around the Carver City neighborhood to encourage residents to help police.

But so far those pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

 

The family has always speculated the shooting was a targeted hit. They said C.J.'s cellphone and a round gold religious medallion were taken from him after the shooting and have never been recovered.

The chain was found in the yard, and he still had cash in his pockets.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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