An autopsy is yet to be done, but the cause of death seems to be from the gunshot wound.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 7, 2022. It has since been updated.
When Officer Laquandia Cooley and her team responded to a shooting on Larkin Street—just blocks from the Hazlehurst Police Department—early Sunday, little did she know her life was about to change forever. It was only when she arrived at the crime scene that she found out the victim was none other than her own son. The victim, Charles Stewart Jr., 20, was dead in the middle of the street with a gunshot wound to the head. “We initially responded to the call not knowing, when I made it over there, the person was going to be my son that was laying there,” Officer Cooley told WLBT. "As we get out, I look and I was like, 'This is my son, this is my son.' So, I literally just go into a break down you know? Like, why? Who would do this to my son?"
“I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing,” the mother and Hazlehurst police officer continued, according to Independent. “I was seeing my own son laying there on the ground dead. It was pretty much a panic. It was just, it was too much”.
PHOTO: Charles Stewart, Jr., 20, was shot and killed Early Sunday morning in Hazlehurst. His mother, Officer Laquandia Cooley, would be the one to discover her son's body lying on Larkin Street. https://t.co/EPkLnA3EdA pic.twitter.com/HgQUhtPWNJ— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) January 4, 2022
Stewart's father, Charles Stewart, added that his son's death was "traumatizing for the whole family." He said his son was a good person who got along with everyone and did not bother anyone. So when he found out that his son was killed, he couldn’t believe it. "We're just trying to cope day to day," he said. "Just trying to figure out why this happened and who could have did this."
Darius Stewart, a cousin, also took to Facebook to write a tribute and shared images of the victim. "BOY BOY MY MF SOUL HURTING BEHIND LOSING YOU LIL CUZ FRFR WISH I COULD HAVE DID SOMETHING MAN💯💪🏾🙏🏾🖤💙🖤💯💪🏾🙏🏾💙," he captioned the images.
As of January 4, 2022, it is unclear as to what led to the shooting and if any arrests have been made in connection to the death.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Darian Murray confirmed the death, mentioning that an autopsy is yet to be done, but the cause of death seems to be from the gunshot wound. He also added that since the case involves an officer’s family member, the case will be handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Karen MoskowitzDisclosure: This post uses affiliate links from online retailers that allow readers to purchase merchandise, for which we may or may not receive a commission. Our content is not influenced by these partnerships.