James’s last words to me, when he came home that evening, were, “Mom, I’m home, I love you.” Six hours later, we heard the gunshot. Now try to imagine the chaos, the screaming, the horror, dialing 911 in the dark, hearing his Daddy yell over and over, “They shot my son, they shot my son!”… His older brother trying to repair his little brother’s body as blood poured out of the hole in his chest, and then, moments later, embracing me in his pure white t-shirt he wore to bed that night, soaked from his neck to his waist in his brother’s blood, telling me James is gone. Imagine his other brother unable to get to his family because crime-scene tape blocked the street. We were then transported to the police station and questioned for hours. Coming home, his brothers ripped up the carpet and did their best to clean the walls and floor soaked with James’s blood.
James was a loving, caring, helpful, sensitive, bright and handsome young man who meant the world to us. James didn’t want to die. He had a full life to live, living just 18 years and eight months.