FORT WORTH — James Hardemon stood in his driveway Saturday night, listening to Chief Keef on his smartphone with a pair of ear buds.Seconds later, a car pulled up in front of the house.“I heard brakes, then shooting started,” said James’ 17-year-old cousin, who was inside the home in the 4400 block of Eastover Avenue. “James was standing in the driveway. The car pulled away and I saw James just down on the driveway.”James, a 12-year-old student at Dunbar Middle School, was shot in the head. He died early Monday at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.At least two gunmen opened fire on James and his home home late Saturday. The 17-year-old cousin, who is not being identified because the assailants are at large, suffered a gunshot in his calf. “Detectives believe that at least one suspect was armed with a high-powered rifle during the attack,” police spokeswoman Sharron Neal said in a news release.Initially, police called the shooting gang-related, but they now are calling it just a shooting.“We are not in a gang,” the cousin said Monday. “James wasn’t in any gang. His mother wouldn’t have put up with that.”The cousin said James was the only one standing in the driveway at the time of the shooting. At least eight people were in the house, including two small children.“Everyone else was inside,” the cousin said Monday. “I was on the bed when I heard the brakes. When I heard the shots, I jumped over to cover the kids. The shooting stopped for a moment, but then they must have reloaded because the shooting started again.”The shooting stopped again, and the vehicle then drove away.“I went out to try and help James, “ his cousin said. “I then looked down and noticed blood down my leg; that’s when I realized I had been hit.”The shooting was reported at 11:52 p.m. Saturday, when almost everyone in the home was asleep.On Monday, evidence of the shooting was easily seen. Several bullet holes were around the front door. Four bullet holes were in a hallway, and the family’s Toshiba television sat in the living room with two bullet holes.A worker repaired windows at the home that were smashed out by the hail of gunfire.James was a student at Dunbar Middle School, Fort Worth school district spokesman Clint Bond said Monday. Counselors were at the school for students and faculty, Bond said.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr