KSLA Investigates: Unfulfilled Justice - Part III

Woman says her son's life meant something, and someone knows something about who killed him

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Jemarin Smith was fatally shot in an empty lot in the 700 block of Tecumseh Trail.

The homicide that claimed the 19-year-old’s life late the night of March 29 in Shreveport’s Cherokee Park neighborhood was the city’s third of the year.

Twenty-nine more people have since lost their lives to such violence in Shreveport.

Six months after Smith was killed, his death remains one of 74 unsolved homicides committed in Shreveport since 2016.

This despite surveillance video showing Smith with an unknown gunman, and despite detectives working tirelessly to make an arrest.

Evelana Smith wants the public to understand that her son’s life meant something to the people who loved Jemarin.

And she is convinced that someone has key information that could help police break the case wide open.

So Evelana Smith met with KSLA Chief Investigative Reporter Stacey Cameron, taking him on a walk around the empty, abandoned lot where her son was shot and left to die.

Following is a transcript of their discussion.

Evalena Smith: "My son was laying there on the ground.”

Stacey Cameron: “There at the end of this lot?”

Evalena Smith: “Yeah, lying right there on the ground.”

Stacey Cameron: “You knew it was him before you even got back there.”

Evalena Smith: “I knew. I knew.”

Stacey Cameron: “Take me back to when the police had left, and you finally had the chance to walk back here.”

Evalena Smith: "When I got a chance to go back there, I fell to the ground. I couldn’t believe it. I fell to the ground. It was three holes in the ground. Full of blood.”

Stacey Cameron: “Your son’s blood.”

Evalena Smith: “After I found out that was my baby, the next day, I came around here early that morning, and I laid on this ground where my son body was, I laid on this ground.”

Stacey Cameron: “Just to be closer to him?”

Evalena Smith: “Just to feel something. Something from my baby.”

Stacey Cameron: “And now, carelessly, someone took his life right where you and I are standing.”

Evalena Smith: “Somebody took my son’s life.”

Stacey Cameron: “When you come back here, does this feel like his final resting place? Or is this even somewhere where you can come and be comfortable and feel like you’re close?”

Evalena Smith: “No. Right now, I feel like he’s not resting. I feel like he’s not resting. And he’s not going to rest until they catch these people who did this to him.”

Stacey Cameron: “And you fear, right now, that police have made no real progress in finding who killed your son?”

Evalena Smith: “None, none. None whatsoever.”

Stacey Cameron: “It’s hard enough, I imagine, for a mother to lose a son. But to hear that he was left here overnight and then found.”

Evalena Smith: “He was found by a passer. They found him 5 something in the morning, on the cold ground. He was alone. He didn’t have no body.”

Stacey Cameron: “Do you think the folks that live in this neighborhood and others that are seeing so much deadly violence in Shreveport understand the grief a mother goes through?”

Evalena Smith: “I don’t think so.”

Stacey Cameron: “When you start to talk about your son and the lack of progress in the case, you go from being sad to getting angry.”

Evalena Smith: “Yes, I’m very angry. What mother wouldn’t be? What mother wouldn’t be angry having to bury her son and would have to ask for help.

“God placed somebody somewhere to see something that happened to my son.”

Stacey Cameron: "So you need someone who saw something to speak out for your son?

Evalena Smith: “Yes, yes, yes.”

Stacey Cameron: “What’s the one thing about your son that you look back on now and will still bring a smile?”

Evalena Smith: “He loved his little nieces and his little nephews."

Stacey Cameron: “He loved his family.”

Evalena Smith: “He was so playful.”

Stacey Cameron: “We hear so often that there are potential witnesses or somebody that knows something, but they don’t stand up and tell police. Why do you think that’s the case.?"

Evalena Smith: “Because they don’t want to be labeled as a snitch. But that’s not snitching.”

Stacey Cameron: “It’s not snitching."

Evalena Smith: “It’s not, it’s not snitching. It’s being concerned.”

Stacey Cameron: “How far away do you feel that you are right now with getting someone to help you solve this crime that took your son?

Evalena Smith: “Far, because I’m just asking for help even with this, to clean this site up. And I can’t even get that. I come out here and I clean this stuff up and it’s just overwhelming.”

Stacey Cameron: “The people watching this tonight that live in these communities, that are seeing this violence, what do they need know? What can they do to help change this?”

Evalena Smith: “They need to speak out. They need to speak out. Because the violence ain’t going until someone stands up and says ‘enough is enough’. This is a hurtful feeling. I wouldn’t wish this on no mother, no mother.

“They left me empty, empty inside. And I want justice. Justice for my child.”

Stacey Cameron: “Do you these people that are pulling the trigger and killing young men even stop to think for a second, what if their mother was in this position that you are now?”

Evalena Smith: “They don’t care. They don’t care.”

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