Shooting at crowded party leaves mother planning funeral instead of birthday

KENT, OH (WOIO) - Jayquon Tillman was shot and killed May 6 at a party near Kent. Police are still looking for the shooter.

Tillman's mother said coping with his death has been a nightmare.

"That was my baby, still is my baby. I don't understand and I loved him I do, but God loved him more. But it still hurts I'm not going to lie and say I'm not hurting," said Latoya Williams.

Williams described her son as a focused and determined student. He worked part-time and had a scholarship at Eastern Michigan University, where he was taking a full load of classes.

"He wanted to be a teacher and eventually pay his way through law school," said Williams.

Williams said he was active in several groups on campus including his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi. Last week he came home excited after finishing his sophomore year at just 18 years old. Jayquon told his mom he was going to a party near Kent.

"When he left at 9 o'clock that night I text him when he went out 'I love you,' and he text back, 'I love you, too' with the little heart emoji, and that was the last that I heard from him," said Williams.

Around 1 a.m. Saturday Jayquon was shot and killed at a house party on State Route 43 near Kent State University, according to the Portage County Sheriff's office.

"Talking to police and the detectives and you know everything they said your son honestly from witnesses was honestly just leaving out he did nothing wrong he wasn't involved in anything," said Williams.

Authorities said there were more than 150 people, many college kids, crammed inside the party. Deputies said the shooter escaped through the crowd.

Williams has a message for anyone who knows who pulled the trigger.

"Just please come forward. I forgive you, I love you, but I don't want nobody's child hurt," said Williams.

Williams is now planning her son's funeral, which is set to happen next week, the same day he would've turned 19.

Portage County deputies say some leads have started to trickle in during the investigation. Anyone with information can call direct to the Sheriff's Office at 330-296-5100.

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