ST. LOUIS — A mother on Monday started to prepare a burial for her teenage son, who she believes was mistakenly shot and killed in north St. Louis last week.
"I'm struggling, but I have the strength," Leslie Byrd said.
Candles sat in a parking lot on Whittier St. in the Ville neighborhood where police said 19-year-old Jadun M. Byrd was shot and killed on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Byrd told 5 On Your Side she was with her son on Facetime when he took his last breath.
She added he had just caught a Lyft to meet her and was dropped off on the wrong side of the building, Homer G. Phillips Hospital.
"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 said.
Byrd believes the bullet was not intended for Jadun.
"They didn't even rob him. They didn't take anything from him. They just shot him and pulled off," the mother of two said.
According to his mom, the teenager had a love for basketball and mentoring, worked a couple of jobs in St. Louis, and had studied engineering.
"That's how he created his relationships, through basketball and selling snacks," Byrd expressed.
He wanted to follow in his mother's footsteps too, who works for the Urban League and Better Family Life.
"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," she said.
The mother uttered a message for other parents and youth in St. Louis
"Gain control and love your children unconditionally. Allow them to be who they need to be with just the appropriate guidance," she said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Homicide Division or Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS. They can remain anonymous.