LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A family is still left without answers after their 17-year-old son was shot and killed inside his Lakeland home.
Tye Ketchum was shot and killed last October at the Park at Palazzo apartment complex on Lakeland Hills Boulevard.
The teen’s father, Joe Ketchum, is sharing his story exclusively with 8 On Your Side.
Within the last week, police released the name of the victim in the shooting and his photo after receiving permission from the family. But Ketchum’s family says they weren’t even asked the question.
“Nothing was asked if we would release it back then,” Ketchum said. “Had we had permission, or were asked, I would say most definitely.”
Now, the family is focused on finding answers — hoping this new development will move the case forward and eventually lead to an arrest.
“It’s just me and you buddy,” Ketchum said, while walking his son’s dog, Nemo.
“It’s alright buddy, we’ll find out who did it,” he said. “I know you know.”
A father, heavy with insurmountable pain, paired with so many unknowns.
Every night, Ketchum walks Nemo. But those long walks by the lake are another reminder that his son is gone.
“There’s no words to express losing a child,” Ketchum said. “Nothing anyone could ever fathom and you know there’s answers. It’s just a matter of getting out to those people and finding those answers.”
Tye was 17 years old and an outstanding student at Lakeland High School, known for his smile, his beanies, and love for basketball. He would really light up any time he was with family. However, last October, his light was dimmed.
Tye was shot inside their apartment in Lakeland. His father found him after he came home from work.
“I find him laying on the floor, bleeding out, gasping for air,” Ketchum said. “And then I called 911 and here we are still trying to find answers.”
“This is our final plea for help to try to find out and get answers because I know someone has to know something,” Ketchum said.
Last year, Lakeland High School dedicated a day to remember Tye, to celebrate what he loved best. Meanwhile, there’s a $10,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.
Tips can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS.