PULASKI, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been 15 months since Elijah Kirkley, 22, was shot and killed outside an apartment complex in Giles County, and his mother is tired of waiting for justice.
Kirkley was murdered in a car and left for dead on Feb. 23, 2022, according to his mother.
The next day, Kyree Tucker, then 19, and James Coffey, then 24, were charged in connection with Kirkley’s murder and booked into the Giles County Jail. However, both made bond that same year, according to the Giles County Sheriff’s Department.
Angela Kirkley-Wright, Kirkley’s mother, told News 2 she has blocked out most of her memories from the night her son was murdered.
“It was just really traumatizing, unbelievable, and just shocking,” Kirkley-Wright said. “We’re still suffering every day from it.”
“We’ve been waiting since February 23 of last year for justice; there has been no justice whatsoever,” she continued. “The world is still spinning, my son is still gone, and all I have left of him are some pictures and his ashes in an urn.”
Kirkley-Wright added the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is still processing evidence in the case, and she likely won’t get justice for her son until that is complete.
According to the TBI, the average turnaround time for ballistics testing in March of this year was more than 15 months. In addition, firearm analysis testing took an average of 10 months at the Nashville branch.
The TBI cannot determine how long evidence processing will take in cases because there are a variety of factors that could impact the timeline, including the case’s complexity and whether a single piece of evidence requires multiple tests.
However, Kirkley-Wright believes the TBI should search for solutions to speed up turnaround times.
“We’re ready for some closure, and we’re ready for justice to be served, and one way or another they need to figure [out] how to help the victims and the victims’ families not have to sit around and wait for years for their cases to be heard,” she said.