'I feel like a part of me has been ripped out,' says mother of 19-year-old shooting victim
Posted February 9, 2021 5:43 p.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2021 9:40 a.m. EST
Rocky Mount, N.C. — Authorities identified former Southwest Edgecombe High School football player Jordan Clayton as the 19-year- old shot and killed in Rocky Mount on Monday night. So far, police have not released information on any arrests or suspects tied to his death.
"I feel like a part of me has been ripped out," says Clayton’s mother, Kimberly Clayton Thigpin, "Like there’s an empty, unfillable space."
Thigpin says Clayton was the fourth of six children, full of laughs and love. His former high school football coach remembers him as a caring teammate.
"He just had a special spark of life inside him. He was the ultimate team player," says former coach Jonathan Cobb, "A lot of us really thought he had a lot of potential. He was from a good family. He was a smart young man."
Clayton’s oldest sister, Jasnique Clayton, says her baby brother loved to rap. His two passions in life were football and music.
"He was really into his music. He was really, really good at his music," she says.
Clayton’s mother and sister say he was with friends on the night of his shooting, but they don’t know who would want to harm him or why.
"To know Jordan is to love him," says Jasnique Clayton, "And I love my brother. I will always love my brother."
Rocky Mount police say they were called to Vernon Road around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday night for a report of a shooting. Clayton’s death is the latest in a string of shootings in Rocky Mount over the past seven days.
WRAL News reached out to Rocky Mount’s police chief for an interview to address the violence but did not receive a response.
Thigpin says she has a lot of questions about what happened before her son’s shooting and after police arrived.
"There was a complete lack of communication on the scene. Like nothing, other than step back, get out of the way," she said. She hopes she’ll get some answers soon.