A St. Louis mother is mourning the loss of her 19-year-old son after he was fatally shot while he was on FaceTime with her. According to KSDK, police said the March 3 incident occurred at a parking lot in the neighborhood of The Ville. The victim was identified as Jadun M. Byrd.
“I’m struggling, but I have the strength,” Jadun’s mother, Leslie Byrd, said.
Byrd told the news outlet she was having a FaceTime call with her son when he was shot and killed. She said Jadun was on his way to meet her at the time, but the Lyft he had taken dropped him off at the wrong side of the address.
“I heard the staff member said ‘They just shot that boy up,’ then somebody accidentally kicked the phone and I saw his head just roll and his hands curled up,” Byrd recalled, adding that she believes her son wasn’t the intended target.
“They didn’t even rob him. They didn’t take anything from him. They just shot him and pulled off,” she said.
The mother of two also shared fond memories of her deceased son, saying he loved basketball as well as mentoring. She also added that Jadun had a number of jobs in the city and had also learned engineering.
“That’s how he created his relationships, through basketball and selling snacks,” Byrd said told KSDK.
“To see all of his friends come to me and tell me exactly what I was teaching him. He was on my mission. I thought he wasn’t listening to me. I really did think that.”
The grieving mother also sent a message to parents and youth in the city. “Gain control and love your children unconditionally. Allow them to be who they need to be with just the appropriate guidance,” she said.