70ºF

Mother of slain teen mentors youth after tragedy

Devron Crowden, 16, shot, killed while waiting at bus stop

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of the 16-year-old who was shot and killed while waiting at a school bus stop is sharing what life has been like for the past month.

Devron Crowden was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting on Dec. 10 at his bus stop on 13th Street and Canal Street. Police never found his killer.

There were about 300 young kids at the Universoul Circus, and his mother said this was her way of training up the future so that no parent, brother or sister would ever have to go through and deal with what she did.

The circus is a place where children have the freedom to dream big. But at Wednesday's performance, the message was even bigger.

Crowden's mother, Laquita Perry, has since joined the Black Lives Matter Movement, where she helps mentor youth after tragedy struck her family.

"What they're doing is trying to let the kids know that their life does matter," she said. "My son's life was taken on Dec. 10 at a bus stop, at a school bus stop."

photo

Perry said the death of her 16-year-old son has not been easy. She said that it's what fuels her to show youth that good is in everything and that their opinions deserve to be heard.

"If there is anything that you do see that is wrong, please let someone know, because there is always (someone) out there to listen to you," Perry said. "It's hard. It's a day by day process, it's something that I have to think about on a daily basis."

And Perry said since the death of her son, the movement has helped her other children turn their pain into reward for others.

"I have three other kids," Perry said. "The oldest is 19, I have a daughter that's 14 and I have a 10-year-old daughter, and it's hard for all of us."

"With the belief that I have, it's only by the grace of God," Perry said when asked if she's forgiven the person responsible for her son's death. "If it wasn't for the Lord I wouldn't, but really I do. I forgive them."

No arrests have been made in the case.

Anyone with any information on the shooting is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

photo

About the Authors: