After a 17-year-old was shot and killed near the Mall of Louisiana this weekend his family says they are heartbroken
The Lebeuf family says they woke up Saturday morning planning to have a fun day with friends and family, but in a matter of seconds the day of celebration turned into one of tragedy.
A balloon arch, a boom box, and empty chairs are all that remain of what was supposed to be a birthday party on Saturday.
Akiko Lebeuf was turning 39. She says she was getting ready for her party when she received a call saying her son, 17-year-old Gyron Lebeuf, had been shot near the Mall of Louisiana. Authorities say he later died at the hospital.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Gwendolyn Davis, Lebeuf’s cousin, said. “He didn’t deserve to go out the way that he did.”
Davis says Gyron and his mom were best friends. She says he was going to the mall to surprise her on her special day.
“He was there to go get a gift for her birthday,” Davis said. “It’s hurting us because he was taken away from her and he’s never going to come back home.”
Gyron’s family says he was very athletic. All of his trophies still sit where he left them at the Lebeuf’s home. His basketball coach says when he received the news that one of his star players had been killed, he couldn’t believe it.
“I was shocked,” Jabar Triplett said. “I was praying that it wasn’t and [hoping] they got the wrong information.”
But it was true. The once happy and playful teen that everyone knew and loved was gone.
“It’s something that his mom will never be able to forget– that her child went to get her a gift for her birthday, and she gets a call saying he’s dead,” Triplett said.
As family and friends gathered to remember the times they shared with Gyron, they tried to come to terms with the day that was supposed to be filled with laughter and happiness but was destroyed by tragedy.
“Every year on [Akiko’s] birthday it’s going to be a celebration for her because she’s gaining another year of life, but she also lost her son on her birthday,” Davis said.