March 7th, 2008
06:07 PM ET

A brother's view of murder


360° exclusive with Anita Shaw, mother of Jamiel Shaw; a young victim of Los Angeles gang shooting.

Editor's note: Jamiel Shaw was shot to death Sunday night near his home in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Police say two men jumped out of a car and asked Shaw if he was a gang member.  He did not answer and the men shot him. Police say Shaw had no gang affiliation.

Tonight on 360° we'll hear from Shaw's mother, who is a soldier serving in Iraq, but has returned home to bury her son.  CNN Producer Paul Vercammen talked to the family:

Thomas Shaw and I were sitting on the sidewalk next to the memorial of flowers, candles, and cards to his murdered brother, Jamiel Shaw Jr.  The popular, church-going, football star was just 17 when he was killed 40 yards or so from his front door. READ BACKGROUND ON THE STORY

On a sunny day, on a quiet street, with no camera around, 9-year-old Thomas told me “I want to be just like him. He was a great big brother. He always played with me.  I play football too.  I play quarterback.”

Thomas paused for what seemed a half minute, and wiped away tears.  I could only think of my own kids – a 13-year-old boy who plays flag football and an eight-year-old daughter.  This is one of the saddest stories I have ever covered and it seems it haunts every parent in L.A. right now.

“I wish I could somehow go back to right before they shot him.  And I would tell Jamiel they have a gun.  And he would punch the guy take the gun away.”

– Paul Vercammen, CNN Los Angeles Sr. Producer

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
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