Weldon, North Carolina — A Halifax County mother is demanding accountability after her teenage son was shot and killed on his way to his grandmother’s house.
Shawanda Watson said her 19-year-old son Ja’eid Watson was in the 900 block of Sycamore Street in Weldon on Thursday when he was shot multiple times in the back. Shawanda Watson said she stood by her son in his final moments and pleaded with him to go through with it until it was too late.
She said she tries to remember her son as a vibrant and happy recent high school graduate who loved sports and mountain biking more than anything and dreamed of starting his own business.
“He was a good boy. He loved to smile and joke and have fun,” Shawanda Watson said.
Ja’eid Watson left his mother’s home in Roanoke Rapids on Thursday morning to visit his grandmother. Shortly after, Shawanda Watson said she received a call from first responders.
“They told me that my son had been shot several times in the back. He was trying to leave,” she said.
Shawanda Watson said she rushed to where her son was shot. When she arrived, she said she found her son lying on the road bleeding heavily from gunshot wounds.
“I just walked up next to him, and I know he heard my voice and I told him to breathe. I said, ‘Breathe, son, breathe.’ He heard me, tried to breathe. He tried,” she said.
Ja’eid Watson died of his injuries that day.
The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said they are still investigating the shooting, but they believe Ja’eid Watson knew the shooter. Shawanda Watson said she agreed. She added that her son’s life had already been threatened in their community.
“They took my child’s life,” Shawanda Watson said. “It could be your family next. How many people do they have to kill before they’re taken off the streets?”
Shawanda Watson said she struggled to forget her son’s final moments and cling to the life he lived.
“He was here with me at all times. He said, ‘Mom, I will never leave you.’ I have nobody. I’m alone here now because some people took my baby away from me,” Shawanda Watson said.
Detectives have asked anyone with information to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8201 or Halifax County Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444