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Mother of slain teen: 'I feel like I lost everything'

Family refuses stop search for answers in shooting death of Thomas Peterson Jr.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Six weeks after a Ribault High School senior was fatally shot in Northwest Jacksonville, family members continue to pray for answers in his death. 

Thomas Peterson Jr., 16, was shot at West 11th Street and Spires Avenue, near the Grand Park area, on Nov. 5, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. Friends took him to UF Health Hospital, where he died of his wounds.

Police continue to search for the gunman.

His family held a vigil Wednesday evening in hopes someone will come forward with answers.

"I feel like I lost everything I had. And I didn't get the phone call until 12:30 that night. He had been passed away, but we didn't know until later on that night," said Lekesia Johnson, Peterson's mother. 

Peterson was the 12th Jacksonville teenager to be shot and killed this year.

"It's been a stressful time. We lost a child and a loved one, and to not have answers, we decided to reach out to the public. You know, not just for our son, but for the senseless crimes and killing that are going on all over the world," said Stephanie West, Peterson's godmother. 

West helped put on the candlelight vigil to keep the high school student's name out there with hopes someone will step forward with information. 

"You all just have to go a day at a time and just live it up," West told Peterson's parents. 

And until his killer is caught, his friends and family plan to remember Peterson in every way they can. Just last weekend, they shot a video in his memory.

"You know what you did. You took our loved one away. And really, why? We want to know why," West said. "He was just a 16-year-old living his life, attended Ribault. (He was) well loved everywhere he went and for you to just take our loved one for no reason, it's sad."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.