Mom of shooting victim calls for young people to shun guns

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:44 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says they are looking for 20-year-old Lawrence Stephens and 19-year-old Jamari Williams in connection to a shooting near Olmstead Homes in October.

Authorities say they’re wanted for the murder of 22-year-old Kyan Bowie. Three other suspects ranging from 17 to 21 years old have been arrested in connection to his death.

We sat down with his mom to talk about why she is calling for young people to put down the guns.

In the living room of Nichole Wilbon’s home, a makeshift memorial is on display for her son.

“He was just a really good kid,” she said.

He was a homebody who loved to play video games and draw.

“He was autistic, so he really didn’t go very many places,” said Wilbon.

The day Bowie and his family left the house was on Oct. 15, for a friend’s birthday party at Olmstead Homes. Wilbon says she went inside, and it sounded like a firefight started.

“There were many, multiple gunshots. I was looking for my son. Parents were putting kids on the ground and inside the house,” she said. “I ran outside, and they were still firing, and I found my son laying right outside of my car, and he was already gone.”

She says Bowie was shot at least seven times. Investigators tell the family the shooting is gang-related and the person they were looking for had already left.

“No, my son was not the intended target. He was an innocent bystander,” she said.

Since April 2022, there’s been at least 65 homicides and suspicious deaths in the CSRA. At least 24 were below the age of 26.

“They haven’t even begun to live their lives, and it’s really sad that I’ve lost a son, and now potentially these other families are losing their children,” she said.

Wilbon and her kids say they’ll continue to fight for Bowie’s justice and share this final message.

“Just put the guns down,” she said.