EL DORADO, Ark. (02/07/20) — The family of the teen that was shot and killed last year will award three $500 scholarships to El Dorado High School seniors.

Octavius Critton Jr. was shot and killed in the 1200 block of California Street on August 11. Police say he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Critton’s family said he had aspirations on going to college after graduation this year but those plans came to an abrupt end after his life was cut short due to gun violence.

“If Tay was here he was going to go to college and all of us know that,” his cousin, Greg Williams said.

It’s been nearly six months since Critton has been gone. He was killed five days after his 17th birthday and two days before the start of his senior year of high school.

He was also a player for the El Dorado Wildcats Football team and never had a chance to suit up on the field and play a game. His death still lays heavy on those he left behind.

“Everyday you think it’s getting better but it’s getting worse,” Critton’s grandmother, Debra Willis said.

He had a job and his driver’s permit. He kept his grades up and inspired his friends on and off the football field. His family said he was an extremely hard worker.

“Even at 12, he talked about how he was going to be successful and do certain things to help take care of his family,” Williams said. “There’s no telling what he would’ve become had that incident not happened.”

Since Tay isn’t here, the family wants to honor his life and legacy. Williams is the owner of Empire Properties which is a black-owned real estate residential firm. The firm has been awarding three scholarships to senior in the community for the last two years.

In addition to those, they will also award another set of scholarships to three seniors, which will be named the YTS Tay Memorial Scholarship.

“We talked about a desire to support other students that look like Tay that are from those same backgrounds and the same neighborhood just like we are as a family,” Williams said.

“Through this tragedy there is a need to bring light to it and also a need for us to try to preserve the life of someone else.”

The family will award a scholarship to one football player, one male and one female. Those that apply must:

  • be a graduating senior from EHS;
  • have 2.0 Minimum GPA;
  • be accepted into a a college

“We do miss him dearly but by giving out these scholarships to further education that’s the way we will always be happy and keep him alive in our hearts,” Critton’s aunt, Joyce Johnson said.

The family is encouraging the seniors to continue their education and focus on their goals.

“Put your mind on doing what’s well and what’s good instead of just living a day at a time,” Critton’s uncle, L.J. Johnson said. “Put your mind on something and love in your heart .”

Critton’s parents, Octavius Critton Sr. and Shamekia Anderson accepted a poster of their son and his jersey at Thursday night’s awards banquet. The presentation brought Anderson to tears as those in the crowd stood on their feet to honor the family.

Critton’s dad would like to thank everyone that has supported them through this journey.

“Tay is living within you all and he’s living within me,” he said. “Everyday you all do something in remembrance of Tay always puts a smile on my face.

Tay’s killer is still at large. There is $2,000 reward for information that can lead to an arrest.

The scholarship packets can be picked up at the school counselor’s office. Check with the high school on when those will be available. You can also pick up packets at Empire Properties located at 518 West Faulkner Street.

Over a month later, still no arrests made in teen’s death

EL DORADO, Ark. (09/24/19) — It’s been over a month since high school senior Octavius Critton Jr. was shot and killed and still no arrests have been made.

“I hear a lot of people say with time it gets better. It’s getting harder,” Shameka Anderson said. “With time, it’s getting harder. I don’t get to hear his voice. I don’t get to see him.”

“Tay” as many people called him had dreams and goals but the idea of the future was halted by his murder.

Now, the ones he leaves behind are still broken from the past.

“I still don’t get any sleep. At times, I still lose my appetite,” Anderson said. “At night time, I lay awake and I think about all of it but in the morning time is the hardest part because reality kicks in when I open my eyes.”

Tay’s older brother Azariahn Wade is equally feeling the pain. The loss of his brother is something he says he’s taking day by day.

Although time has gone by, he and his mom are still living in a nightmare, especially since the killers are still on the loose.

“They’re still free like they’re living their best life and mine has been deprived of everything that he has worked hard for,” Anderson said.

The El Dorado Crime Stopper put up a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest. Still, no one has come forward.

The lack of help is not only frustrating for the family but police.

“This is the tough part about this job,” Lieutenant Christopher Lutman said. “When you know that other people have insight to exactly what happened but they choose not share that with police is frustrating.”

The police want to be sure they have every piece of evidence they need before making an arrest.

“Right now, it’s not what you know. It’s what you can prove,” Lt. Lutman said. “That’s what we need to make a strong case.”

Detectives are confident that there are people who know exactly what happened. They, along with the family, are pleading with the public to come forward with information.

“If they had any love for my baby first of all this incident wouldn’t have happened,” Anderson said. “Secondly, for the ones who was there and know the situation, if they love him then they would speak up.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Lt. Scott Harwell or Detective Angela Means with the El Dorado Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division, at (870) 881-4810 or Crime Stoppers at (870) 863-INFO.

The reward is still out for anyone who can help can lead to an arrest. Police say you can remain anonymous.

$2,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest in teen’s death

EL DORADO, Arkansas (08/22/19) — The El Dorado Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that can lead to an arrest in a teen’s shooting death.

Almost two weeks have passed since Octavius Critton Jr., 17, was found shot to death outside a home in the 1200 block of California Street. Police found his body while investigating a shooting nearby that left Juston Mayweather, 23, wounded.

“He didn’t deserve it,” his father said. “I don’t feel like no child deserves death in a tragic way.”

Octavius Jr. was known as “Tay” to many friends and family but to his parents, Octavius Critton Sr. and Shameka Anderson, that was their “baby boy”.

Tay was killed five days after his 17th birthday and two days before his senior year of high school. Tay recently received a Certificate of Proficiency for completing a welding class at the South Arkansas Community College.

He had his driver’s permit, kept his grades up and was ready to head off to college once he graduated high school. His parents say he had a bright future ahead of him.

“He was a very motivated and goal-driven child. Smart. Wonderful. Intelligent,” Anderson said.

Of his parents, he was dad’s best friend. Critton believes his son’s smile and personality came from him. They had a bond that couldn’t be broken.

Football coaches and staff held an event for players and their dads August 10, the day before Tay was killed. Fathers and their sons both stood in the high school cafeteria and shared their personal thoughts and goals of each other.

Critton didn’t know that day would be his last time to have a moment like that with his son.

“He told me his proudest moments about me and I told him my proudest moments about him,” Critton said. “It was most definitely a proud day for me and I’m still a proud father.”

Now, they’re seeking justice for their baby boy. Police have interviewed many people but don’t have any proof as to who shot and killed Tay and seriously injured Mayweather. Critton and Anderson aren’t looking for payback, they’re looking for answers.

“Right now, it’s not the time for revenge or none of that. All I’m asking for is justice. If you know something about it. Speak up,” Critton said. “If you feel comfortable with me taking it to the police station, call me, hit me up on Facebook. It’s not snitching. It’s telling the truth.”

Police just want anyone with information to do the right thing.

“It should take zero dollars to make that phone call. because if it were you, you would want somebody to relay that information and not have to wait for somebody to throw a dollar out there to be a part of this,” Lieutenant Lutman said.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Lt. Scott Harwell or Detective Angela Means with the El Dorado Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division, at (870) 881-4810 or Crime Stoppers at (870) 863-INFO.

If your information leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this crime, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00.

All calls will be kept confidential.

Homicide victim in Sunday night shooting is a 17-year-old student and football player

EL DORADO, Arkansas (8/12/19) — El Dorado’s second homicide of the year is that of another young life.

Octavius Critton, 17, of El Dorado was the victim shot and killed Sunday night in the 1200 block of California Street.

Critton would have been entering his senior year at El Dorado High School this week and played on the football team. He was the team’s defensive back and sported the #6 Wildcat jersey. His teammates and coaches remember him for his personality and uplifting spirit.

Head football coach, Steven Jones, issued a statement:

“Last night we were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Octavius Critton. He was loved by his teammates and coaches. Octavius had a smile that would light up the room. His positive outlook on life is something that I will hang on to forever. His happiness, was contagious and he was a real joy to be around.”

The team had a scheduled practice at 5 a.m. today but the coaching staff cancelled the practice to meet with the players during this emotional time.

“This is a tragedy because we begin school tomorrow,” Lieutenant Christopher Lutman said.

Police are still investigating what led to the shooting. From information already provided, the shooting stemmed from a social media argument and there are several people involved who know what happened. There is no motive at the moment but police but are confident someone will be apprehended soon.

“We’re following a bunch of leads. There’s a lot of evidence that has to be processed that officers and investigators obtained from the scene,” Lieutenant Christopher Lutman said. “We have a lot of good information that should get us to a resolution fairly quickly.”

If you have any information about the shooting please contact the El Dorado Police Department at 881-4810.

This is still a developing story.

EL DORADO, Ark. (KARK) – (8/12/19) A man is dead and another wounded after a shooting late Sunday evening.

The El Dorado Police Department (EPD) says officers were called to the 1200 block of Detroit St. just after 11:30.

That’s where they found a wounded man inside the house who told officers the shooting had happened across the street in the 1200 block of California Street. At last report, Juston Alex Mayweather was being treated for his injuries.

Officers found the second victim at a home on California Street. He has been identified as Octavious Critton. Police say he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The EPD says say no arrest has yet been made but investigators are looking for “numerous individuals for statements who have information leading up to this incident.”

Critton’s body will be taken to the Arkansas State Crime lab for an autopsy.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the EPD Detective Division at 870-881-4810.