EXCLUSIVE: “My daughter was my best friend”; grieving mother speaks on Wickham Drive murder

Crime Watch

A local family is struggling with the loss of not just one, but two family members after a shooting late Wednesday night that killed one woman.

News 3 was on the scene when police were called to Wickham Drive around 11 p.m. Two family members were injured and 24-year-old LaShay Ford, known to her family as Shay, was pronounced dead at Midtown Medical Center.

RELATED: Columbus Police searching for suspect in Wickham Drive murder

Police are now on the hunt for 36-year-old Dewayne Jones, who aside from being wanted for murder, is also Shay’s cousin, according to her mother, Laquanda Brown.

Laquanda tells News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton she’s still struggling to accept life without Shay.

“My daughter was my best friend, and I will never find a friend like that again ever in life,” she says.

She says she is sad to think of the things Shay will never live to experience.

“She was just hired yesterday for a new job, very smart,” Laquanda tells WRBL. “…But she will never get to experience love or children. And I will never get to experience those things [with her], because she’s gone now. At 24 years old.”

Laquanda is a teacher for the Muscogee County School District and a mother of five other children. She says she wants to stay strong for them.

“I gotta be there for them, because they’re hurting,” Laquanda says. “Now she’s gone and they don’t have nobody else to look up to. She was their big sister.”

“I don’t know how long it will take me to get over this, but I have to be strong like her, like Shay. She was a strong woman. She learned that from me,” she adds.

Laquanda also tells News 3 she wants Shay to be remembered for their happy memories of her.

“My favorite thing was her dimple, she had the prettiest dimple when she smiled,” she remembers. “She always made everyone smile with her.”

She also says she’s conflicted after she says she saw her cousin – and Shay’s – kill her daughter.

“Don’t know how to feel right now. I’m confused, because somebody I really love did this to her and she loved him dearly too,” the grieving mother says.

But at the end of the day, she does have a message for Dewayne Jones.

“Don’t hurt yourself, I still love you Dewayne. I know you didn’t mean to do this, but it’s over. Turn yourself in. It’s over.”

Columbus Police ask anyone with information on the shooting or on the whereabouts of Dewayne Jones to call detectives at 706-225-3400.

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