Kwan Kearney sentenced to 60 years in Joseph Sharps murder

Joseph Sharps, 17, died when he was shot several times in Trinidad in November of 2010. (Photo: ABC7)

On Nov. 8, 2010, 17-year-old Joseph Sharps, Jr., a student at Spingarn Senior High School in Northeast D.C., had just finished his music homework and was on his way home from a convenience store in Trinidad when he bumped into Kwan Kearney on Holbrook Street NE.

The seemingly harmless bump turned into a shooting that killed Sharps and injured his friend. On Friday, the 20-year-old Kearney was sentenced to 60 years in jail for the murder.

Kearney, a D.C. resident, was convicted this past December of first-degree murder and several other charges.

"Kwan Kearney robbed our community of a bright, energetic young man who had an outstanding future ahead of him for simply no reason at all," U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement.

Shooting killed Joseph, injured his friend

On that November night, Joseph and his friend walked to a convenience store along the 1300 block of Holbrook Street NE. At about 8:30 p.m., as they returned home, Joseph made physical contact with Kearney as he talked on his cell phone.

"Stop pump-faking," Kearney said to Joseph, who replied that he wasn't. "What are you reaching for?" Kearney then asked him. Joseph replied that he wasn't reaching for anything. Witnesses say that Kearney then pulled a revolver from his waistband and shot both Joseph and his friend several times.

He died shortly after calling 911 to tell authorities that he and his friend had been shot. Kearney then fled the scene, but was arrested a little more than a week later. A co-defendant in the case earlier pleaded guilty to charges in the shooting.

Family, community reeled after murder

Joseph's family and the Spingarn community was shocked in the aftermath of the shooting. The 17-year-old was an honor roll student and also played basketball and football for his school.

"I don't think I can take any more," Joseph's brother, Adrian Kinard, told ABC7's Sam Ford. "And my father is ripped apart."