Victim of Fresno's first homicide of 2020 had just enlisted for U.S. Army

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tiana Thomas is torn over learning that her son's alleged killers are 14 and 16-years-old.

"My heart goes out to these two because they are kids," Thomas said. "I wish them no harm. I understand that they didn't know what they were doing. They are babies."

It was January 8 that police say the teens shot and killed Thomas' 18-year-old son, Dezon Cheatham.

Police found his body inside of a car in Central Fresno. He was shot multiple times and died at the scene.

Police discovered a trail of blood leading away from the vehicle and found Cheatham's friend, 17-year-old Christyan Roberts, who was in the car and shot in the face.

"Based on the forensic evidence at the scene, shell casings and other potential fingerprints and DNA, it did lead them to serve a search warrant last Friday," says Fresno Police Lt. Larry Bowlan.

Inside the home, detectives found the suspected shooters and even more evidence linking them to the crime.

Police say the two are not gang members but are related. Thomas believes they knew her son.

She says Cheatham had a bright future ahead of him and had just enlisted into the U.S. Army.

And while the loss of her son still hurts, learning of the shooters' arrests was like having a weight lifted off of her shoulders.

"There was a lot of nights where we didn't sleep," Thomas said. "I could be out taking care of business, not knowing if I'm staring my sons killer in the face."

Police say at the moment they do not plan on releasing the names of the suspects because they are minors.

They face charges of murder, attempted murder and other felony charges.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.