The family and friends of 17-year-old Kemar Campbell (pictured at left) gathered outside the Shanghai Garden Chinese Restaurant at 2501 West Davie Blvd., Monday, expressing shock and horror at Campbell's death Sunday afternoon.Police were called to the restaurant shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday after a witness reported seeing a small group of teens possibly vandalizing the building.
Police said Campbell was walking with his two brothers, Kerron and Jermaine, past the Shanghai Garden restaurant when Kemar hit or leaned against the glass front window of the restaurant. Witnesses said the window shattered, causing a large glass shard to fall outward, cutting a huge gash across Kemar's throat. Witnesses said the teen staggered across the street, where he collapsed and bled to death despite the efforts of passers-by.
"I said, `Oh my God, I've got to turn around and help this guy,"' said Jossett Nash, a nurse who was driving past.
Nash called 911 and ran to the teen. She said she and a man used the man's shirt to try to stop Campbell's bleeding.
"We couldn't do it," Nash said.
Paramedics pronounced Campbell dead at the scene.
The daughter of the Shanghai Gardens' owner, who works at the restaurant, was also injured by shards of glass that fell inside, police said. She was taken to Broward General Medical Center and treated for minor injuries.
"I feel bad," said restaurant owner Bill Cheung on Monday. "But, you know, he's not supposed to use things to hit the glass. You know, the glass is not a strong thing, you know."
Cause Of Glass Break Under Investigation
Police said witnesses told them Kemar Campbell was pounding on the glass before it broke, and the restaurant owner's daughter claims she saw Kemar Campbell throw a basketball at the window before it shattered. But on Monday, the victim's brother, 13-year-old Kerron Campbell, insisted that Kemar had merely leaned against the window before it broke.
"He rested his hands on the glass," said a distraught Kerron, demonstrating what he said his brother was doing prior to the accident. "He was resting his hands like this on the glass."
The three had been walking home from playing basketball. But Monday, Jermaine said it was he, and not Kemar, who was holding the ball.
"I had the basketball," Jermaine said, adding that the glass, "just broke and he went in with it and it cut his throat."
The boys' family and friends returned to the scene late Monday, where they planned to hold a candlelight vigil.
"He's a good child. He was just playing," the boys' mothere, Sheila Fraser, said while crying. "I wish it was me. He's so young."
The boys' father, Rupert Campbell, said his son, a student at Stranahan High School, aspired to become a dentist.
"Nobody has eaten from yesterday," Rupert Campbell said. "You can't eat, you can't drink. That's just life, you know. That's the way it goes. It's rough."
His death remains under investigation.