‘You took my son’: Mom of Rochester murder victim speaks out

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The mother of Jahkeem Douglas, the 24-year-old man shot and killed inside a home rented as an Airbnb this week, is desperate for answers.

She says he was there because they were filming a music video for his cousin who was murdered in 2019. She spoke exclusively with News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I’ve been throwing up. I’m just numb,” Cristie Williams said.

Jahkeem, known as “Buddha” in the community, leaves behind four young siblings; his fiancée, Shakeeylaa Moore; and his mother. She says Jahkeem was always dancing and was at the house to help with the music video. She says he was well-liked, and she doesn’t know if he was targeted.

“He liked to dance. He was spontaneous. He always liked to giggle. He wasn’t the type to be out here and all that.”

Tuesday night, Jahkeem was one of about 30 people inside the rented home on Atlantic Avenue and Illinois Street to film a music video. They were celebrating the life of DeAndre Jenkins, Jahkeem’s cousin who was murdered three years ago.

Four other men were shot, and are expected to survive.

Williams says she’s devastated not only by her son’s murder, but that his name was released to the public before she could identify his remains herself. She says the county will not let her see her son until funeral arraignments are made

“I should go identify him. He should have never been on the news, period, until I identified him as my son. I don’t care where they got his name from,” Williams said, crying.

We reached out to the county’s medical examiner’s office and this is what it said:

“The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office does not have viewing facilities for family members. The only time a family member would ever come to the ME’s office is to help identify a deceased individual, but even then family members are usually shown photographs and not the body.

In this case, the investigators were able to identify the deceased through X-ray comparisons yesterday. The family was notified that the body will be released to them as soon as they provide the name of a funeral home where they want the body to go.”

Williams has a message for her son’s killer.

“You took my son. You took my son. I’m his mom.”

Thursday night his family held a private balloon release for Jahkeem. His mom says she’s working on his funeral arrangements. Police are still searching for his killer. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.