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Vigil held for teen homicide victim in Billings

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Khoen Parker
Posted at 9:20 PM, Jan 21, 2022

BILLINGS - Several dozen friends of Billings' latest homicide victim, 15-year-old Khoen Parker, gathered late Friday afternoon to remember him in one of the teen’s favorite hangouts—the downtown skatepark on South 27th Street.

Teens burned candles and released balloons into the air as they honored Parker, who was shot to death early last Sunday morning.

“I remember him as more than brother, like more than a best friend—he feels like my other half. Everything I did was with Kohen, “said Jude Yates.

Yates says he and Parker became fast friends after meeting six or seven years ago—inseparable—until last weekend when he watched his friend die.

“I just remember people started shooting at us. We got in the car. I tried holding his wounds doing CPR the whole time. He just ended up going limp. We were busting every red light going like 70 trying to make it to the hospital,” Yates said.

It was too late for the teen, who was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. The fatal shooting happened in the parking lot of Castle Rock Park. Police have released little information in the case, but Yates says it was the result of an ongoing feud with another group of teens.

“We had problems with these kids for a while. They ended up saying they wanted to meet up and they wanted to come to my house. I told them we were just going to meet up somewhere, so we went to the Heights and then had stuff happen,” he says.

He says he’s frustrated that there have been no arrests in the death of his best friend.

“It doesn’t add up at all and I don’t know how they haven’t gotten anything because if they seize their phones, they’d see what they talk about,” he says.

“It’s just really weird and different not to have him there.”

Funeral services for Parker will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Faith Chapel. Parker’s family says anyone who would like to celebrate the teen’s life is welcome to attend.