BEEBE, Ark. – It’s been one week since 17-year-old Hunter Brittain was shot and killed by a Lonoke County Sheriff’s deputy and loved ones are still without answers regarding his death.
As friends and family push for justice, those that knew Hunter are remembering who he was and keeping his story alive.
Ginger Russell taught Hunter for two years at Beebe Public Schools. She remembers him as a respectful young man just starting out in life.
A fond memory of hers is running experiments in her alternative education class and watching a teenage Brittain joke with classmates as they struggled to keep a ping pong ball in the air.
“He had the biggest heart,” Russell remembered. “He would give you the shirt of his back, and I always knew he had my back in class.”
Brittain was also creative, building trucks from scratch out of Legos and coloring pictures of cars during school breaks.
One such drawing, a colored in car, still hangs on Russell’s white board – forever signed “Hunter”.
This love of trucks also stretched to his personal life. “He was constantly fixing something on his truck,” Russell said.
That was exactly what Hunter’s family says the teen was doing the day he was killed: fixing up his truck and taking it for a test drive.
In the week following that morning, Russell has had little time to process, mourning the loss of someone almost like family. “It just breaks my heart.”
Like many others, she often wonders what could have been done or what she could have said to have prevented that fateful morning.
“If there’s anything I can do to go back,” Russell said, “I would tell him, if he ever gets pulled over, don’t move, don’t get out of the truck.”
Now, she’s remembering the young man she taught science and debated politics with and wants the world to know he was a good kid.
She says in his heart he was a hard worker, splitting his time between work and school and trying his best to succeed. In these fond memories, Russell says, she’s keeping his memory alive.
Arkansas State Police are currently investigating Hunter’s death. As of Wednesday, there are no updates as they complete their investigation.
Hunter’s family and friends are now pushing for a new law to be created, one that would require law enforcement agencies to have their body cameras on and rolling for the duration of their shift.
The proposal is called “Hunter’s law”. The teen’s funeral is set for next Tuesday.