On March 2, JaDun Byrd, a 19-year-old St. Louis teen, was on Facetime with his mother after catching a Lyft to her job when he was shot and killed.
His mother, Leslie Byrd, heard it all.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, JaDun was on the way to Homer G. Phillips Health Center’s COVID testing site at 11 a.m. to meet up with Byrd to borrow her car. He planned to go to a local basketball court with friends.
His mother recalled speaking to her son on the phone just moments before he was shot. JaDun needed directions to her building after being dropped off.
“He said, ‘Mama, I’m lost.’… So I told him to look to the left, and he looked to the left. And then that’s when I seen the phone drop, and I heard three shots,” she said.
The grieving woman said she heard gunshots through the phone and from where she was standing outside. She said someone kicked JaDun’s phone, so it was pointed at the teenager.
“That’s when I seen his face, and his eyes rolled back, and his hands curled up. And I just watched him take his last breath,” she said. “And when I went over there, he was just laying there.”
Related Story: Michael Byrd, Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbit, Comes Forward
Byrd doesn’t think the bullet was intended for her son.
“They didn’t even rob him,” Byrd said. “They didn’t take anything from him. They just pulled up and shot and drove off.”
Byrd remembered JaDun fondly saying he loved basketball as well as mentoring.
“That’s how he created his relationships, through basketball and selling snacks,” Byrd told KSDK.
She also shared a message with parents and youth in St. Louis. ”
“Gain control and love your children unconditionally. Don’t try to force your children to be what you want them to be. Allow them to be who they need to be with just the appropriate guidance,” she said.
Funeral services are scheduled for March 22.
Police are still investigating the tragic shooting.