Nineteen-year-old Jerrell Walker was shot dead outside an Oakridge Drive home on Christmas Day 2015.
Antonio Bagley, 31, told Warner Robins police that he shot Walker when Walker tried to rob him, police said.
Police filed no charges, and the case was turned over to the district attorney’s office for review.
Now, 18 months later, the case remains unresolved. Walker’s parents — Temekia Felder and Jerel Walker — want answers.
They don’t believe their son was trying to rob anybody. He had a good job stocking shelves at a convenience store, and family members had showered him with Christmas money.
On Christmas night, he was at a friend’s house playing cards when he said he was going to get a “sack of weed,” Felder said.
“His friends said that he got in car with a couple of boys, and he never did come back,” she said.
Neither police nor the district attorney’s office have disclosed much about the shooting. Felder said she thinks the whole case is resting on Bagley’s version of what happened.
Bagley could not be reached for questions about the case. His mother, whom he lived with at the time of the shooting, declined comment.
Felder said she has so many unanswered questions: How did his friends know he was dead before police had identified the body? Who did the gun belong to? Who accessed her son’s Twitter account from his cellphone after his death?
“We just want closure to the whole thing,” Walker said. “If they already have their mind made up, they should let us know instead of just keep dragging us on, making us have hope for this and hope for that.”
Walker said he doesn’t want his son’s shooting to be swept under the rug.
“Just let us know that he’s still thought about, that his case still being thought about, (that) it’s not just pushed to the side, pushed to the back,” he said.
District Attorney George Hartwig said he’s never lost a child and understands the parents’ frustration.
But there’s also another person, Bagley, and his family who are under the same kind of pressure while the investigation continues, he said.
“It’s not anybody’s plan or intention to just leave anybody involved in this hanging — and that’s the family of the deceased or the person who fired the shot,” Hartwig said.
“Everybody deserves a very thorough, complete look at this case and what happened.”
Once his review is complete, there are three basic options.
Those include rulings of a “justified shooting” or “a criminal shooting death” or “not so clear either way, and it might be presented to a grand jury,” Hartwig said.
Felder said only one outcome will bring her satisfaction, and that’s Bagley facing criminal charges in her son’s death.
“I can never get my son back,” she said. “He took my child away from me.”
Walker feels likewise.
“There’s nobody out here that can play God with your life, and it’s just like he’s playing God, and you take his life, and it’s OK. ... I don’t think it’s right,” Walker said.