“My older daughter was crying on the phone hysterically and I could hardly make sense of what she was saying,” Sharina Jackson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. “She was holding her.”
But she heard enough to know LaKevia had been hurt and wasn’t breathing.
“I just lost it,” Jackson said. “I jumped in the car and tried to get there as fast as I could. When I got there, I saw the paramedics working on her.”
But it was too late to save her life. The 31-year-old, who shares a son with Atlanta rapper Young Thug, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to police.
Investigators believe a fight over a bowling ball prompted a man to shoot LaKevia as she left the entertainment center shortly before 11 p.m. LaKevia didn’t know the man, her mother said. But after the argument inside, he waited outside for her group to leave, Jackson said.
“I never imagined I would lose my baby over something like this,” Jackson said.
LaKevia’s shooting death was Atlanta’s 35th homicide investigation this year, police said Friday. By this time last year, there were 28, according to data from the department.
Atlanta police’s homicide commander told Channel 2 Action News the senseless shooting was one that did not have to happen. It’s the type of incident he and other city leaders have repeatedly said are taking place too often after minor arguments.
“This is truly an atrocity. A young woman has lost her life tonight as a result of an argument over a bowling ball,” Lt. Ralph Woolfolk said. “We talk about conflict resolution time and time again, and once again, this is an escalated dispute over a bowling ball.”
Later Friday, Woolfolk said investigators had worked through the night. One woman, whose name was not released, was detained but has not been named a suspect.
Earlier this week, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and police department leaders discussed the year’s homicides, which are happening at a faster rate than in 2021. About 42% of this year’s homicides resulted from disputes that escalated to gunfire, according to Deputy Chief Charles Hampton.
“Even if we had cops on every street, some of these instances we would not be able to prevent,” Hampton said during Tuesday’s news conference. “We need people to be human beings, treat one another with love and respect, put the guns down and resolve these conflicts peacefully.”
While homicides this year are up from 2021, investigators have made arrests in about three-quarters of those cases, Dickens said.
A suspect has not been identified in LaKevia’s shooting, according to police. But her mother is hopeful the person responsible turns himself in.
As a teenager, LaKevia met Jeffery Lamar Williams because the two lived in the same apartment complex, her mother said. It would be a few years before Williams would begin his career as a rapper, known professionally as Young Thug. LaKevia and Williams have a 14-year-old son, Jackson said. The teenager was with his father Friday, she said.
LaKevia was family-oriented and maintained a good relationship with her son’s father, Jackson said. A spokesperson for the Grammy Award-winning rapper said Young Thug would not be releasing a statement regarding the shooting death.
Jackson said Friday she hadn’t yet thought about funeral plans. She wants her daughter to be remembered as a kind person.
“She was a fun person to be around. She had a good heart,” Jackson said. “If you needed her, she was there for you, regardless.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Atlanta police. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.