Slaying Baffles Family

Posted: February 15, 1994

Last Thursday was Debbie Kennedy's birthday, and there was only one present she wanted from her son.

"I told him that the best gift he could give me would be to go back to school and graduate," Kennedy said last night.

Her son, William "Tyrone" Clark, 17, who dropped out of 11th grade at William Penn High School last June, was going to give her that gift, she said.

"We were going up there today," she said.

But Tyrone Clark won't be going back to school. He was found shot in the head shortly after 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Front Street near Clearfield in West Kensington. He died shortly before noon.

Police don't know why he was shot. They have no suspects.

Kennedy, interviewed in her home on Indiana Avenue near 21st Street, said her birthday was the last time she saw her only child, alive.

"I told him, 'Those so-called friends of yours are not really friends; they're holding you back.' He agreed."

"He loved to draw," his mother said. "He could draw anything. Cartoons, T-shirt prints and things like that. He wanted to be an architect."

She acknowledged that her son was "no angel, but he was not a bad kid, either. He never disrespected anyone. That's why this is all so hard to understand."

Kennedy said her son was proud that he was born on Oct. 31, Halloween.

Clark's aunt, Carol Kennedy, added that her nephew, known to the family as ''Poochie," had a lot of friends and "never gave anyone a hard time. He was a listener."

Dorothy Williams, a neighbor and family friend, sat in her living room last night reflecting on Tyrone. "He was a very good and decent young man," she said. "Whoever done this is a cruel and cold person."

Tyrone's best friend, James McKnight, commented, "Some people were jealous of him because the ladies liked him. But nobody around here would bother him."

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