“I know the pain’: Community holds vigil for murdered 17-year-old

CHARLOTTE — The Mothers of Murdered Offspring held a vigil at Camp Greene Park for a 17-year-old who was murdered in northwest Charlotte last month.

Jayden Blackmon was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting on Lynn Street on Feb. 19.

Channel 9 reporter Glenn Counts spoke with a family friend who said they know this kind of loss all too well.

“It’s just crazy. These kids aren’t being able to be adults,” Tiffany Williams told Counts.

Williams said she knew Blackmon very well. “Jay and my son were really good friends, and he was a really good kid.”

She said her son, Elijah Riggan, was also killed due to gun violence in May of 2021.

“Jay checked on us and made sure that we were fine. And I just wanted to be supportive and kind of return that favor. My son was 1. Jay was only 17. So I know the pain and the loss that the family is experiencing,” Williams said.

Others who attended the vigil said they were at a loss for words when it comes to young people dying violently.

“We’ve got to be better, you know. It just frustrates me that our young people are not learning. They don’t value life anymore,” Mark Raley with Mothers of Murdered Offspring said.

Police said two people, 18-year-old Gerry Martez Burns Jr. and 18-year-old Curtis Ray Wilson III, have been charged in connection with Blackmon’s murder.

VIDEO: Suspect arrested in drive-by shooting that killed teen, CMPD records say