GREENWOOD, Ind. – To Temario Stokes Jr., family was everything.
To his mother, he was “her baby.”
The 16-year-old Whiteland Community High School student died after being shot at his bus stop Thursday morning near Winterwood Drive and Providence Drive.
His mother, Tiera Ervin, talked to reporters just hours after her son was killed and identified him as the victim of Thursday’s shooting.
“My baby was an outgoing person. My baby would give people the shirt off his back,” she said, adding that he was family oriented and the oldest of three children.
“My baby was a beautiful person who is gone too soon,” she said. “It took my heart away from me.”
Stokes’ father, Temario Stokes Sr., said his son aimed to start a landscaping company one day. It was “all he talked about,” his father said.
“Landscaping, landscaping, landscaping. Daddy, get me a mower. Let’s do landscaping. Let’s do landscaping.” he said.
“He wasn’t a bad kid,” Stokes Sr. aid. “All kids make bad decisions at one time, but he wasn’t a bad kid. He doesn’t deserve this.”
“He was at his bus stop heading to school when it happened,” Ervin said. “When I heard the shots, I ran outside and saw my son lying on the ground, shot multiple times.”
Ervin didn’t see the shooter but said a witness provided a description to police. Late Thursday afternoon, Greenwood police announced they had arrested a suspect, but provided no other details.
“I thought it was going to be a regular day. My baby would go to school, come home,” Ervin said. “I’m thinking my baby’s going to return home and he didn’t even make it to school.”
Ervin said the family moved to the neighborhood in April. She had a message for the shooter.
“You didn’t have to do my baby like that. You took my heart right out [from] my chest. I hope you find peace within yourself.”
She’s counting on support from the community to help her and her family through a difficult time.
“The people that did love my son, thanks for loving him. Thanks for being in his life and just continue to pray for me and my family.”