NEW ORLEANS — A 13-year-old was walking home in Central City last night when he was shot and killed in a double homicide, according to his mother. NOPD responded to the shooting just after 8 p.m.
It happened on South Roman Street and Washington Avenue near Taylor Park.
"He had the most gentle heart. the most respectable kid," Carla Thomas said.
Thomas describes her 13-year-old son, Byron Kelly, as a football all-star who was kind, loved music, and had strong faith. Byron was a 7th grader at Wheatley Elementary.
"He was a pleasure to be around," she said. "Always prayed, always prayed."
Thomas said Byron was helping her with chores Tuesday afternoon and later wanted to walk a few blocks to a gas station with friends for snacks.
"And that was it," Thomas said.
Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, NOPD responded to a shooting that left two people dead including an adult male and Byron. He was four blocks from home.
"He was walking home. He was walking home, he was trying to get home," Thomas said.
She is confident her son was an innocent bystander, hit by a stray bullet.
"My child was never, ever, ever a target. Never a target. Not my son," Thomas said.
As a grieving mother in disbelief, Thomas is fed up with senseless violence.
"I want people to understand these people, these kids with these guns in their hands, they don’t have knowledge of what they are doing," she said. "They don’t understand that when you do things like this, you are hurting people like me. You are causing me to not sleep, I can't eat. You took my child away from me at 13 years old with him doing nothing to nobody."
She is desperate to find out what happened.
"I hope they find out who did it because I will never stop," Thomas said.
Police have not confirmed if detectives believe Byron was an innocent bystander. The other victim hasn't been identified.
"Detectives are in the process of gathering information to identify the person(s) responsible for the offense and a motive," a statement from NOPD said.
Homicide Detective Miles Guirreri is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-5300.
Anyone with additional information on this incident is asked to contact Homicide detectives at (504) 658-5300 or call anonymously Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP.