COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— A local mother continues to seek justice for her son’s death nearly one year after he was fatally shot.
Iverson Gilyard, 20, was shot seven times by a juvenile Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 on 13th Street in front of the Linwood Tillis Park.
Video surveillance footage captured the events unfold. That same footage led prosecutors to file to dismiss the case in May of this year.
The 16-year-old suspect originally faced murder charges. The superior court judge presiding over the case, John Martin, is now tasked with deciding on whether to drop these charges.
Gilyard’s mother, Tiesha Gilyard, tells WRBL the 16-year-old and her son were acquaintances and the juvenile had allegedly stolen items from Gilyard’s home before the incident.
After a hearing on June 10, 2022, the suspect’s defense attorney Jennifer Curry told the Ledger-Enquirer she had never heard that story before and there was evidence to support it.
“I have no reason to believe that they ever hung out, that they were ever friends,” Curry said.
Gilyard’s mother says surveillance video from the day of the shooting shows her son approaching the teen, hitting him with the butt of a gun, and asking for his things back.
She says witnesses at the basketball court reprimanded them, to which she says her son proceeded to put his gun in his waist band before leaving the basketball court.
“The gun was put back. He had put it back from the moment that the parents told him to break it up. My son immediately put his gun back in his side. He told the young man, ‘let’s go tell your mom what you did. Let’s go tell her you stole my stuff so I can get my stuff back.'”
Gilyard argues against the claim that the shooting was self-defense. In his retreat, Gilyard’s mother says the video shows the 16-year-old pulling out his own loaded gun and shooting Gilyard while his back was turned, after her son had put away his own gun.
“[He] took it out of that backpack and shot my son four times in the back. Once he was down, he came up to him as if that was not enough, point blank range and shot him three times in the chest,” she shared. “My son was almost across the street back at his apartment with his back completely to this young man, and he shot my son four times from behind. If you shoot someone one time, they’re down. You got a park full of people. They’re down. This was malicious.”
District Attorney Stacey Jackson told the Ledger-Enquirer, “At the time of the shooting itself, the decedent was committing a serious violent felony, several of them, as we determined: one being that of an aggravated assault, that of a kidnapping… Any person has the right to use self-defense, even deadly force, to prevent a serious violent felony happening to themselves.”
Gilyard also argues her son did not kidnap the suspect.
“My son never kidnapped him. He did, however, say to him, ‘come on, let’s go’ without a gun being pointed at this young man. There was no gun pointed at him at all at that point,” she said.
Jackson says he is going to see if Judge Martin has issued a ruling in the wake of June’s hearing before providing a comment to WRBL.
WRBL will pass along any updates as they become available.
More of the interview with Gilyard’s mother will air this upcoming Sunday morning, Aug. 14 in our 8/7 CST newscast.
Aug. 14, 2022: Coverage on the one year anniversary of the shooting death of Iverson Gilyard in our News 3 This Morning newscast.
Aug. 14, 2021: Columbus police investigate deadly shooting