‘Life of the party’: Mom of 2 remembered after allegedly being shot by kids' dad

Credit: Angela Thompson

Credit: Angela Thompson

Asia Monique Jackson, who always had a smile on her face, just loved life.

“She was always kind of the life of the party,” her mother, Angela Thompson, recalled. "She’s always happy, and that was Asia.”

It’s been almost two months since Thompson last saw her youngest child, who worked for the post office. She remembers that day vividly.

“It was a day or two before the shooting. I was actually sick and not feeling good and Asia drove me to the ER and picked me up after I finished,” she said.

Little did Thompson know that would be the last time she would see her daughter.

On Sept. 11, Jackson dropped by to check in on her mother, who was sleeping at the time. She then went back to her apartment to pick up a grocery list before heading to the store.

But she never reached the store. DeKalb County police have released few details but said Jackson’s children’s father, Ronal E. Derickson, shot her outside of the Retreat at Stone Mountain on Ashley Place following a dispute around 1 p.m.

Thompson said Jackson’s oldest daughter, Aniyah, was with her mother at the time. When Derickson approached them outside, Jackson gave her daughter the keys and told her to go inside the house.

“So, she heard the shot and she actually had to go past her mom after the shooting,” Thompson, 48, explained.

Derickson later dropped off Aniyah at Thompson’s community and “told her to go to grandma’s house.”

Credit: Angela Thompson

Credit: Angela Thompson

What the dispute was about remains a mystery, but Thompson said she can only assume it had to do with the children.

“There were several times and there were several incidents where they had disagreements concerning him coming to visit the kids or picking the kids up,” she said. “And Ronal just had, he had a temper.”

She recalled a moment several weeks before the shooting when she said Derickson pulled out a gun in front of the kids.

“And from that incident on, they really had no other communication,” Thompson said.

Authorities located Derickson in Michigan and eventually booked him into the DeKalb jail with no bond Oct. 17. He’s facing felony murder, aggravated stalking, kidnapping and first-degree cruelty to children charges, according to online jail records.

Jackson’s death left many loved ones grieving. That includes her father, Larry Jackson Sr., 49, who said he’s been heartbroken since the incident, and her daughters, 9-year-old Aniyah and 5-year-old Hailee.

Jackson valued her girls the most and aimed to make a successful life for them, Thompson said. That’s why she also ran an online beauty and personal care shop called Sassy Sue Collection.

“She wanted to one day be able to make money and provide for her children doing her own business,” Thompson said.

Thompson and her mother are taking care of the girls at the moment.

“The 5-year-old, she knows that her mom is gone and that she hopes to see her one day in heaven,” Thompson said. “We talk about her, we talk about what has happened. We talked about it as far as enough for them to understand what has taken place.”

Credit: Angela Thompson

Credit: Angela Thompson

About 300 people gathered Sept. 19 for a candlelight vigil in Decatur, where Jackson grew up. Her funeral was held two days later.

“I’m not crying, because I see my mommy smiling in every picture I ever saw of her,” Aniyah commented during the Celebration of Life service. “She was never sad.”

Credit: Angela Thompson

Credit: Angela Thompson

For Thompson, who used to see Jackson every day, not a day goes by when she doesn’t think about her daughter.

“(I) miss her laughing and joking and smiling and just being there with us,” she said. “I love her and I miss her every day. And there’s a void that will never be filled.”