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Grandparents say grief intensifies for 3-year-old shooting victim

Published: Sep. 17, 2015 at 8:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2015 at 1:40 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Lacondria Freeman remembers the last conversation she had with her 3-year-old grandson before tragedy struck. It was less than an hour before the drive-by shooting that killed Major Jamari Howard.

"He asked to go with me. I said, 'not this time.' He said, 'I love you.' I said, 'I love you too,'" recalled Freeman.

Major was inside a car with 24-year-old Dasha Smith on East 113th Street Tuesday night, while Major's mom visited with a friend.

"[He was] playing with a video game on the cell phone. What more could you ask? He's not running in the street. He just wanted to play. He just wanted to play," described Victor Freeman, the boy's grandfather. 

Suddenly, someone drove by and opened fire on their car. Major was shot in the chest. Smith was hit in the thigh.

Major was rushed to the hospital by people on the scene, and later died. Smith survived.

One day later, the grief has intensified for Major's family, especially for his mother.

"I love him so much, and I miss him terribly. It's just hard right now. It's very hard," explained Lacondria Freeman.

Major had recently taken his first motorcycle ride with his grandfather.  

"Right now we would love for nothing more than to have my grandson standing behind me, talking about flick of the wrist, and just doing what kids do, enjoying life," added Victor Freeman. 

Major's family is convinced someone out there knows something that could help police make an arrest. They are asking anyone who knows anything that could help solve this case, to come forward. Call the Cleveland Police Homicide Unit at (216) 623-5464 or Crime Stoppers at (216) 252-7463. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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