Michael Riley, a Derry resident and cameraman for the local cable station, lives nearby and was initially not concerned when he heard a popping sound. “I live in the country,” he explained, “and people shoot off fireworks seven days a week, year-round.” But when he heard a human commotion outside, he decided to investigate.
“I looked out my window and saw several young people,” Riley said. “They kept going in and out of the ditch. One of them was talking loudly on his phone and making hand motions.”
Riley initially thought the commotion was coming from a car accident. “I thought maybe they hit someone,” he said. He watched for a few minutes and then went outside, asking, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“My buddy was shot,” the boy with the phone responded. “Where am I?”
Riley knew the boy was “out of his element” and immediately gave him accurate directions. “If you call 9-1-1, that’s their first question,” Riley said in a phone interview Friday.
In two to three minutes there were several police cars in the area, Riley recalled. “The police took the guy who was shot out of the ditch,” he said. “When they put a blanket over him, that’s when I knew there was a serious problem.”
Police continued to work in the area, searching the woods on foot and with a canine unit, according to Riley.
Kinney’s friends have set up an impromptu monument to him, and Riley said, “It looks like a florist shop over there.”
“Apparently,” Riley said, “he was a popular person.”
Riley experienced the other side of the camera last Wednesday and Thursday, being interviewed for local television and newspaper outlets.
Riley declined to speculate on what Kinney could have done to be murdered, but he said he talked to the friends and asked, “What was he doing out here?” The friends, he said, just shook their heads.