‘He always let me know how much he loved me’: A family in grief after son shot day before 18th birthday

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A death investigation is underway at the gas station off Woodville Highway after a young man, Jalen Jones, was found shot to death behind the building.

The Rickards student would have been 18 on Tuesday. His family is still coming to terms as investigators try to figure out what happened.

As of Tuesday, we do not know when this all unfolded, whether Monday night or Tuesday morning. But the Jones family, who hoped to celebrate another year of life for Jalen, are instead left to ask why?

“It is a nightmare, one of the worst days ever.”

Jones’ mother, Tonya Green, never thought something like this would happen to her baby boy.

“You hear about other parents burying their kids and things like that,” she shares wiping tears, “But didn’t think I would on his birthday.”

The plan was for Jones to turn in a job application at the gas station. Instead, his body was found by a family friend early Tuesday in the back lot.

Adria Dixon, Jones’ aunt, says that woman made all the difference, “She was a lifesaver for me today, I was glad I was able to be reached.”

It is not known when Jones left his house, but his mother remembers their conversation.

“Before I went to bed, he did his usual,” she reflects, “‘Mom, I love you, you about to have a grown son tomorrow.’ He always, always let me know how much he loved me.”

His family is still left with so many questions, but they plan to still celebrate, honor and remember their beloved boy.

“If he had enemies he was going to make them his friends sooner or later,” shares Green, “And I am just praying for justice because he certainly did not deserve to go out this way.”

The Leon County Sheriffs Office is leading the investigation. Right now, there are few details being released, but authorities are investigating it as a homicide and say foul play is suspected. There is no word of any suspects or arrests.

If you know anything you are asked to call LCSO.

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