Preston Lord’s Family Says Killing Is ‘Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare’ After Suspects’ Texts Are Revealed (Exclusive)

Seven suspects are charged in connection with the October 2023 beating death of 16-year-old Preston Lord, authorities say

<p>Queen Creek Police Department</p> Preston Lord

Queen Creek Police Department

Preston Lord

The family of Preston Lord is speaking out after alleged text messages between the multiple suspects charged in the 16-year-old’s beating death at a Halloween party were publicly revealed in a police report this week.

Lord died in the hospital two days after the Oct. 28, 2023, attack in Queen Creek, a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz., Queen Creek police previously said. Authorities began investigating his death as a homicide and have since arrested seven suspects, who according to a police report cited by multiple news outlets, allegedly discussed the deadly attack after it occurred.

The suspects charged in connection with Lord’s death are Talan Renner, 17, Talyn Vigil, 17, William Owen Hines, 18, Dominic Turner, 20, Taylor Sherman, 19, Treston Billey, 18, and Jacob Meisner, 17, KPNX,, and Fox 10 Phoenix report, citing authorities.

The suspects, all of whom face first-degree murder and kidnapping charges, have pleaded not guilty, reported. Turner and Meisner are additionally charged with aggravated robbery.

Related: 'Guess I Don't Know My Own Strength': Suspects’ Messages Revealed After Teen's Beating Death at Halloween Party

<p>Queen Creek Police Department</p>

Queen Creek Police Department

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Lord’s parents, Nick Lord and Autumn Curiel, opened up about the loss of their son, who was also an honors student and athlete.

“Preston Lord was a beloved son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend to many – always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He was doing the right thing but was in the wrong place at the wrong time, in a neighborhood where he had always felt safe,” the parents said through their lawyer, Bryn K. DeFusco, at DeFusco Law, P.L.C.

The statement continued, “His parents, Nick Lord and Autumn Curiel, each shared a close bond and relationship with him. The emptiness left in his absence is a constant reminder of the easygoing and generous soul they lost. Preston was a National Honor student, student council member, and three-sport athlete. He was looking forward to his basketball tryouts the following Monday. Instead, his life ended violently, extinguishing all his potential.”

<p>Queen Creek Police Department</p> Preston Lord

Queen Creek Police Department

Preston Lord

“Nick and Autumn will never witness him blossom into the remarkable human he was,”  the statement added. "They now grapple with the harsh reality of his demise. The milestones they anticipated celebrating with Preston will never come to fruition. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Related: 6 Arrested in Connection with Death of Ariz. Teen Beaten Outside Halloween Party

The parents’ statement comes after a 1,100-page police report was released this week by the Queen Creek Police Department, detailing the evidence investigators gathered in the months leading up to the arrests. According to the report cited by KPNX, Renner allegedly wrote in a text message dated Oct. 28, “Got in a fight...killed a kid..guess I don't know my own strength.”

According to Fox 10, police said in the report that the attack that resulted in Preston's death allegedly took place after the theft of a necklace from one of Lord’s friends. The outlet also reported that someone told police on Nov. 4 that Renner allegedly told a friend that he threw the initial punch.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for  PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

In a separate text exchange allegedly involving Sherman and an unidentified person, a message allegedly reads, “Talan killed someone with his hands,” and a later response reading, “Bro that kid died,” the outlet reported.

It’s unclear if the suspects have retained attorneys to speak on their behalf.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.