Teen Killed By Cobb Police Was To Graduate This Year

Twitter abuzz with tributes to Tendai Nhekairo, who threatened police with two knives during the incident.

The man was a wide receiver for and was set to graduate later this year.

Police say that 18-year-old Tendai Nhekairo approached officers responding to a suspicious persons call at the Riverside House Apartment complex on Shadowood Road.

"Officers encountered a male in the breezeway who was nude and armed with two knives," according to a Cobb County Police statement. "When the male attempted to feloniously assault one of the officers, he defended himself by discharging his firearm at the suspect."

The incident occurred Tuesday evening around 7:30 pm. Police have not released the name of the officer involved, but said he has been placed on routine administrative leave as the investigation continues.

Campbell High is reported to be holding a memorial service on Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm, at the flagpole outside the school.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Twitter universe has been flooded with tributes to Nhekairo, who, according to Cobb County jail records, was arrested in late February on a misdeamenor charge of marijuana possession.

Here is a sampling of some of the reaction:

"Tendai had so much more to do :/ , this is so sad & hurting me . Because I actually know him & he couldn't live his whole life out ."

"Straight up Tendai had the most beautiful soul a person could have, he touched ALL of our lives with joy, laughter, and smiles."

"Campbell needs to do something special for Tendai at 2012 graduation!"

"Tendai was truly something greater than human. His flaws were at 0. Not perfect but tendai has many positive things about himself."

"Say a prayer for Tendai and his Fam, another loss R.I.P"

Melissa Tulman March 28, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I am stunned!! Tendai and my son played for the Smyrna soccer league and then on the Smyrna Stealth when they were were in elementary school. He was a strong boy even back then and one could see his athletic prowess developing. My son will be shocked to hear the news. Prayers for his family.
Rockin' Robin March 28, 2012 at 07:13 PM
This is so sad. I'm curious about why he attended Campbell High School. Did he live at that apartment complex?? If so, that is in Wheeler's district. Just wondering. Prayers for the family and hoping they can find the strength to get through this tragedy.
Mike - Smyrna March 28, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Do you believe Cobb police officers were justified in this incident? Mr. Darnell, what is your point? Are you a journalist or are you compiling a fictional account of this incident? Have you been to the Riverside House Apartments and interviewed witnesses? Who called the police? Why did they call the police? Did Mr. Nhekairo reside at Riverside House Apartments? I don't know the answers to my questions. However, I do know that you cannot believe everything that you read in the Twitter and Internet Universe. Son, why don't you gather the facts and start a factual dialog? You might actually have a positive impact on a young person that believes all tweets are factual - My prayers to his family.
K Kane March 28, 2012 at 08:14 PM
So sad. From what little I know, it seems like he must have been on some strong hallucinogenic drugs that made him not in his right mind. Prayers are going out to his family!
Carol March 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Drugs, apparently, ending another promising young life! Prayers to his family and the officer who shot him!!!
Ashima Harji March 28, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I agree with you 100%. I just recently met Mr. Nhekairo thru my son and he seemed to be a very pleasant young man. My prayers are with his family. Im so sadden by this and my son is not taking it very well. He said to me momma , Tendai didnt deserve to be killed. He picked the wrong people to become friends with. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
keta j March 29, 2012 at 01:05 AM
So sad,my daughter says he used to come to there lunch table everyday and joke around...an he always was smiling ,an that he often told others that they need to smile more...I've never met this young man ,but iam grieved as a mother the same,an from the things I've heard,its just heartbreaking ,may God give comfort an grace to his family....
Deirdre P March 29, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I think this is so so sad, a young man with so much potential, another young life extinguished much too soon. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin travesty here lies, in my opinion, another injustice and an example of the devaluation of black life. Certainly armed policemen, probably multiple armed Cobb County police men could have used less than Deadly Brutal force to apprehend, an obviously mentally disturbed young man. My prayers are with the family.
Nicole Bailey March 29, 2012 at 02:23 AM
My son was a friend of Tendai and much like him, has made some of the same foolish decisions but under no circumstances should that be justification for a life lost. I'd think in the wake of the highly publicized murder of Trayvon Martin there would be some INCREASED measures of sensitivity put into place, but we seem to be operating business as usual, negligently and with little forethought. My heart and prayers go out to this family.
Shaina March 29, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Exactly P.F. Exactly. Now his group of friends need to stay in line, because GOD is watching everything THEY do to!
me March 29, 2012 at 07:44 AM
If you didn't know him, why comment. He was a nice young man who made mistakes just like everyone of us. People are so quick to judge and point fingers.
Kristen Sudduth March 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Shaina, you've made your point. I have a student at CHS and quite frankly there are 2300 students at that school trying to make heads or tails of this situation. The fact here is that there is no good outcome. This kid made mistakes, and paid for them with his life. Throwing rocks isn't helping. These teenagers are being forced to deal with adult issues and adult consequences, fueling the fire isn't helping a soul. The only thing we can hope for is cool heads to prevail and for students to recognize that drugs are in fact dangerous and they are just not invincible.
Andrew March 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I have know Tendai and his family his entire life and to hear comments like "God had a plan for him" and "the world needs cleansing of bad people/deeds" is deplorable and reminiscent of the same ignorance heard not long ago from a deranged Adolf Hitler as he justified the killing of thousands of people he felt to be of a lesser race or of no worth. This was a kid with a big heart and full of life. Everyone on this thread can have your opinions of what happened but for those of us who know the facts, know this could have been handeled differently. Did T make some bad decisions? Yes Was he depressed and hurt over things going on in his life you don't know about? Yes. Like most teenagers did he know how to handle crisis? No. Did T shoot anyone? No! Did he have a gun? No. I am in no way saying what he did was ok in any way, but he needed help, Not to be shot! Officers are trained to Handel situations just like this ....... By targeting non leathal areas when shooting that would disable and allow for him to be detained. They are also able to use tasers as well. For anyone to attack his mother who in no way has been negligent and has always put her children first and sacrificed everything to provide for them. Always making sure faith and education was a priority. It seems easy to sit back and judge when you should show some compassion for a life that was taken needlessly. Let God judge and let us find a way to help all of those devestaed by this heartbreaking tragedy.
Jennifer March 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Tendai was truly a remarkable young man. No matter what, he always made anyone who crossed his path smile. He was full of joy and hope. Anyone who knew Tendai, knew his laugh. Please continue to keep students of Campbell High School and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Sydney Busby March 29, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Hi guys, I understand that this is a sensitive issue and that emotions are running high right now, but please refrain from using profanity in your comments. This clearly violates the Patch terms of use and I've had to deleted several comments for inappropriate language. If this problem continues I will close this thread to future comments. Here's a link to the Patch terms of use http://smyrna.patch.com/terms Thanks, Sydney
Pamnaj March 29, 2012 at 07:46 PM
If you are speaking from a position of "from what I was told" I would not say a word! you know nothing personally!
another comment March 29, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Sorry about your brother's death. But unfortunately, that is what happens, the media will use any arrest record when they follow the trail of a crime. It is how our criminal society works. My cousin was murdered by his girlfriend, she sliced his heart in half, per the Autopsy. Yet she ended up doing less than 4 years in Prison for Manslauter in NY state, all because my cousin had pending charges of stealing a 12 pack of beer from a convience store. All of the media made a big deal that poor Kyle was a criminal, be cause he shoplifted a 12 pack of beer. Yet she cleaned up the place, staged the crime scence and tried to make it look like he committed suicide. She was never even charged with 1st degree murder only 2nd degree. Then the her father hired a top lawyer, and this 18 year old, did a plea for Manslauter where the Judge only gave her 5-25 and she was out in less than 4 years. During that 4 years, she harrassed my cousin his mother by sending Christmas cards to her from Prison. She also told my cousin that she didn't have a nice enough funeral. So I feel your pain. But the facts, are you brother unfortunately, was not mature enough to be a leader and stay away from illegal drugs. He did get caught! and he did get arrested. All the students saw him arrested from school just a few weeks ago. So yes they are going to talk about it. I pray that God gives you and your family the strength that you will need to move forward.
another comment March 29, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I do not believe the Police Spokesman is covering up for the officer. It is very unfortunate, what happened to your brother. Instead of Blaming the Police, everyone needs to be forthcoming. Many Campbell Students, the sameones that loved your brother. That were with him in AP classes, supported him on the football team, talked to him in the Cafeteria, even had Tweets from him on Tuesday. They noticed that he had been acting differently since his arrest a few weeks ago. Then on Monday, they were their when he started acting really strange in History class and was taken out of school. His good friends are saying he had bad drugs, they are even walking around school identifying the dealer. They are that upset. Or did he just have a breakdown like the Jet blue Pilot? The fact remains, he was naked and holding knives, the police have to protect themselves. This is not a racial thing, if it was someone purple and naked acting aggessively with knives they have to protect themselves.
Juliana March 29, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Hey Nawona I'm so sorry what happened to your brother, my condolences to your family and your mother i can not imagine her pain. This is Juliana Restrepo we went to elementary together.
CashMission April 02, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Can anyone tell me when the funeral is cause I really want to go cause we was close friends.
Anonymous April 05, 2012 at 12:21 AM
It should be obvious to any thinking police officer (which are very few) that this young man needed help, not a bullet! Serve and protect, not murder. If you can't handle the situation with less lethal force because you're scared, you should find another line work. Chicken pig!
charles rogers August 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM
The cop could have shot him in the leg and nothing would have been said. However this should send a clear message to the community that the police here will murder you and then do the investigation and cover it up. RIP Sgt Turner. He too was murdered by Cobb Police.


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