A teenager posted online that he was glad to make it to his 17th birthday after all he had been through. Little more than an hour later, he was shot dead.
Armond Latimore was killed in broad daylight while standing outside a restaurant in St Louis, Missouri, on Saturday.
His mother, Chandra Payne, said she had gone to a store to buy ice cream to go with her son’s birthday cake when she received the call that he had been shot in the head.
He was pronounced dead at a hospital, a little after 1pm, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports. No arrests have been made.
The teenager’s last Facebook post, made an hour earlier, read: "I'm just glad I can say I made it to see 17."
Previous postings showed the high school student holding wedges of $100 bills. In one he appeared to have a hand gun in the waistband of his trousers. In another he sent a message of support to Richard Antwon Donaldson, another St Louis teenager who has been charged with the murder of a 72-year-old man during an attempted car-jacking. “Keep yo head up,” he told Donaldson.
But Ms Payne said neither the cash or weapon in the posts belonged to her son.
She said: “He was always a helping-hand child. He would cut grass, wash your car or sell water. He loved music and loved money and always made it the right way.”
His teacher, Erik Lewis, also paid tribute to the teenager on Facebook.
“The guy was always smiling, full of humour, and full of life,” he wrote. “Always making me laugh. Most certainly a life to be honoured.”
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.
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