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Family of teen shooting victim confident he will recover

ST. PETERSBURG — While 17-year-old Abraham Kelty of St. Petersburg recovers in Bayfront Health St. Petersburg's trauma center, his family waits and prays, his sister said.

Dariana Morton, 21, lives with Kelty and their mother in a one-story home on 13th Street S. A glass case of angels stands in the hallway.

"We're down, but we know it's going to get better," Morton said.

Kelty has opened his eyes once since he was hospitalized, she said. His mother is staying with him in his room. The family is confident he'll recover, Morton said.

Kelty was shot four times in his face, arm and torso on Tuesday by Dallan Bolden, 16, after a confrontation near Kelty's house, according to St. Petersburg police. The two knew each other, investigators said.

Bolden left his semiautomatic handgun on the ground, police said, and was later charged with aggravated battery and taken to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

While Kelty was being treated at Bayfront, a handgun was found in his pocket. Both he and Bolden have prior felony arrests, police said.

Morton said Kelty dropped out of Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg but was working toward passing the GED test.

"He is a great brother," she said.

James Bolden, 82, talked about his troubled grandson, who lived with him for years. The elder Bolden moved into a nursing home about a month ago.

"I remember Dallan when Dallan was born," Bolden said. "I remember, I went to the hospital, and I got a chance to hold him. A newborn."

On Tuesday night, he said, his niece picked him up from the youth center where he volunteers as a piano teacher and told him about the shooting.

"It's hard to explain," he said. "The move — my moving — may have been hard for him. Yes, it may have been.

"He told me he was staying at his mother's, but I don't know if it's true," Bolden said. "Maybe he had nowhere to go."

Dallan's parents are James Bolden's son Jan Bolden, who works as a janitor at a hospital in St. Petersburg, and Carol Bolden, who works at a store that sells children's clothes. The couple divorced in 2011, and James Bolden said his son and grandson lived with him over the years.

A next-door neighbor called it "a house of horrors" where three generations were constantly fighting.

"The screaming was so loud, you wouldn't believe it," said Joe Aschenbrenner, 61, who lives on Sunrise Drive SE. "Holes were in the wall. That boy was so, so angry."

Dallan graduated this year from Lakewood High School, where he was on the football team and played snare drums in the band, Bolden said.

In his room on the 20th floor overlooking the bay, Bolden displays a football and helmet Dallan gave him when he moved into the Fountains.

"I want for him to lead a good life someday," he said.

Alison Barnwell can be reached at or (727) 893-8804. Follow @alison_barnwell on Twitter.

Family of teen shooting victim confident he will recover

08/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 11:25am]
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