St. Petersburg, Florida - Mayor Bill Foster says he tried to help Nicholas Lindsey.
It was just a few months ago that he went to the teenager's St. Petersburg home as part of a diversion program.
He visited six families in total that night. Three children, he said, he felt would make it and be successful.
There were three others that he thought would have problems in the future.
Nicholas was one of the successful ones, he said.
With a heavy heart, he admitted on Wednesday, "The kid we arrested last night is not the kid that I visited. It pains me that he went from that point that he would take a life, now he has to be held accountable."
The Mayor became emotional when he talked about it, not because he was sympathizing with an accused gunman, but because it was a young man he thought would make it in society.
The Mayor said, It's painful. It hurts. We can't have 16 year olds with guns. We can't have these kids out on the street."
He says looking back, he thought Nicholas would make a good citizen. After all, the young man has a huge support system, his mother, his grandmother, his aunt and his father.
"It breaks my heart," he said.
Nicholas' mother had this to say, "I'm very sorry, I can't bring him back. I can't bring my son back, If i could have told him, baby this is what you do, tell him you've got a gun, it's my pocket. He was scared, he didn't know what to do, he was scared. He's a child."