It was on Oct. 13, 2008, that Sheryl Jackson’s life was turned upside down. It was that day, during the afternoon, that her son, Antwann Jackson, then 21, of Penn Hills, was riding down Race Street, in Homewood, on his bicycle, when a gray Jeep Cherokee containing four males, opened fire on her son, hitting him multiple times. It is believed that he was targeted. Antwann Jackson was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
|HEARTBROKEN—The family of Antwann Jackson, who was tragically killed on Oct. 13, 2008, on Race Street, in Homewood, and the P.A.C.T. Initiative held a vigil for their loved one on Oct. 13 at the location of his shooting. From left: Aniya Cephas, Antwann Jackson’s mother, Sheryl Jackson, Kayla Cephas, Juanita Talliferro, Nadia Dazmore and Karen Sparrow. (Photos by J.L. Martello)
Now four years later, Jackson is still feeling the pain of losing her youngest son and still has no answers as to who did this and why.
But with the help of Valerie Dixon, the Prevent Another Crime Today Initiative’s “Prevent Another Crime Before it Happens” billboard campaign, and the $10,000 reward being offered, Jackson has hope that someone will come forward with information to find her son’s killers.
“I am just messed up. I cry every night. My house is filled with pictures of my baby,” said Jackson. “Somebody knows something. I want to know why they did this. Who gives them the right to take someone’s life, to take my son?”
On Oct. 13, the anniversary of Antwann Jackson’s death, P.A.C.T., a violence prevention and intervention organization, and the family unveiled a billboard and held a vigil at the corner of Race Street and North Lang Avenue, the location of the shooting, to make a plea to the community for someone to come forward with information. The billboard campaign puts faces with the names of those in the community who have lost their lives to violence and creates an alternate way for individuals to come forward with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for committing these senseless acts.
Jackson said although there have been no new developments in her son’s case, she has heard various things on the street, but says she just does not know what to think. She believes people are just too scared of retaliation, but pleads that someone comes forward. “Somebody seen something on Race Street. Everyone heard the shots,” she said.
Although Antwann Jackson did have a past criminal record, His mother said he was straightening his life out. He was a father and had moved out of Homewood.
“You try to do good and they just bring you down,” she said.
When it comes to violence on today’s streets, Jackson said that the violence is everywhere and that kids are going too far with the guns. She added that more patrols are needed, especially in high crime areas and that “everyone needs to come together.”
Jackson vows that she will never stop looking for answers to her son’s death. “I am not going to let it rest until I know why.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact P.A.C.T. at 1-866-644-2882 or visit www.makeapac.org