Police believe Sunday night fire near shooting scene may have been payback

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- When a 14-year-old boy lost his life in a fatal shooting on Friday night, July 26th on Milwaukee's north side, police worried about possible retaliation -- and now they believe a fire at a home near the shooting that broke out Sunday night was related to the shooting.

Milwaukee police say a 24-year-old man is in custody for the shooting death of Japhet Moore.

A large fight broke out on Friday night near 12th and Locust, and witnesses say a gunman shot into the crowd, killing Moore and wounding three others.

Police are now looking for those responsible for a house fire at the scene of the shooting -- a fire they think may have been payback.

Theresa Tucker, Moore's grandmother, returned to the scene of her grandson's death on Monday, still in disbelief.

"A very big part of my heart is gone. When I got here, they said he was already dead and there was nothing they could do. They tried to revive him and he was just gone," Tucker said.

"You had four victims of one shooting in a dispute over something that was in the big picture, meaningless," a neighbor told FOX6 News.

Neighbors offered different accounts of what exactly the dispute was about, but they all agree what sparked the shooting was meaningless.

"Don't nobody deserve to die. He was very young. He never got to go to high school or anything. We were very close. I can't picture him dead," Jalen Saffold, a friend of the victim said.

During a press conference on Saturday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said payback was possible.

"We`re concerned about retaliation because some of these disputes are ongoing," Chief Flynn said.

Late Sunday night, officials were on the scene of a fire they are now calling arson.

Neighbors say the scorched house is where the gunman came from Friday night.

"I just wish some of the violence stopped. When I was growing up, there was fistfights, there was no shooting. Now it's getting out of hand. I just tell people to treat one another how they wanna be treated and have respect for everybody's family because they don't know how his mama felt, how his grandma felt or none of his family members," Tucker said.

Three other teens were injured in Friday night's shooting. Two were hospitalized with what police called serious injuries.

Tucker says the family is still planning Moore's funeral. She hopes police will patrol the service in case there's another act of retaliation.