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Family reacts to shooting, arrests in murder

By Bonney Bowman 7:15 PM April 2, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Family members of an Anchorage teen shot to death Tuesday morning say they feel a little comfort now that police have arrested the two men they believe are responsible for her murder.

But Precious Alex’s grandmother says they knew who had murdered the 15-year-old before police did.

The charging documents in this case show the shooting may have stemmed from a fight that happened two weeks ago.

One of the shooters may have been targeting Precious’s mom and boyfriend but shot through the wrong window.

A memorial outside the apartment pays tribute to the 15-year-old.

“Her smile and her overall attitude and goals and focus on life was on the upswing, no matter her situation, no matter where she lived,” said Dana Sweatt, Precious’s grandmother.

Police arrested two men for the shooting.

Twenty-four-year-old Jamal Townsend and 28-year-old Lamar Burney face a variety of charges, including first-degree murder.

Burney faced many members of Precious’s family, including Sweatt, when he appeared in court for arraignment.

“There’s no animosity, there’s no condemnation. Just people make the choices that they make and they have to be responsible for them,” Sweatt said.

Burney’s parents were there as well. Their son faces up to 99 years in jail if convicted.

The families know each other, but are struggling with what happened.

One of their daughters is dead and one of their sons may spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“Somehow, not only us as parents failed, but the system failed too,” Sweatt said.

The other man charged in the shooting, Townsend, is expected to be arraigned in court Thursday.

He faces the same charges as Burney: first- and second-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault.

The judge set a $1 million bond for Burney.

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