Fort Worth

‘How Does a 13-Year-Old Even Get a Gun?': Family of Fort Worth Murder Victim Has Questions

Twenty-three children, including four girls, are locked up in Tarrant County on murder charges

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The mother of a Fort Worth man who was shot and killed last month was shocked to learn the age of the alleged shooter – just 13 years old.

"How does a 13-year-old even get a gun?" Tammy Slavik asked.

Slavik's 36-year-old son Spenser was shot to death at 7 a.m. on June 22 during an apparent robbery outside a Kroger grocery store on Camp Bowie West.

Tammy Slavik
Spenser Slavik

"Spencer was a very loving boy,” his mother said. "He's really missed."

In a detention hearing at juvenile court, the judge revealed the same boy is a suspect in a home invasion hours before the grocery store murder and in another violent crime last year.

But police have released few details about what happened to Spenser Slavik, and his mother is left with questions.

"Why? Why did he kill my son? Why did he have to kill Spenser?" Slavik said.

According to court administrators, there are 23 juveniles in detention, just in Tarrant County, for murder. Four of them are girls.

"That is a really high number,” Slavik said when informed of the count. “That seems really out there."

Slavik and her husband Robert said 13-year-olds should be playing baseball or video games – not out committing crimes.

"I mean you want to forgive because he's so young but then he made such a violent act,” Robert Slavik said. “It hurts so bad."

The Slaviks are worried because the suspect is so young, he'll be released in a few years when he's an adult.

Police and prosecutors aren't able to answer their questions about the case because juvenile laws are aimed at protecting the young suspects -- regardless of how serious their crime is.

Prosecutors also told them the investigation is ongoing, they said.

But they say their son will never come home.

"He always said, 'Mom I love you,'" Tammy Slavik said.

Contact Us