Police officer mom finds victim of fatal shooting is her so, 20

Police officer mom finds victim of fatal shooting is her so, 20 2
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‘This is my son!’: Police officer mom reveals she was called to fatal shooting and discovered victim was her son, 20

  • Officer Laquandia Cooley, with Hazlehurst Police Department in Mississippi, was responding to a call about a body when she found her son dead
  • Charles Stewart Jr, 20, was discovered lying in the street with gunshot wound to the head early Sunday 
  • Cooley, a mom-of-three, cried out ‘this is my son!’; she then called Charles Jr’s father, telling him someone had killed their child 
  • Homicide is being handled by Mississippi Bureau of Investigation  
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A Mississippi police officer responding to a report of a fatal shooting over the weekend was shocked to find her own son lying in the middle of the street with a gunshot wound to the head. 

Officer Laquandia Cooley, 42, with the Hazlehurst Police Department, was working the night shift on Sunday when she got a call about a body on Larkin Street at around 2am, leading to the horrific discovery. 

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‘We initially responded to the call, not knowing when I made it over there, the person was going to be my son that was laying there,’ Cooley told the station WLBT. 

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Officer Laquandia Cooley, with the Hazlehurst Police Department

Charles Stewart Jr

Officer Laquandia Cooley, with the Hazlehurst Police Department in Mississippi (left), was responding to a call about a body when she found her son, Charles Stewart Jr, 20, dead

Victim was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Larkin Street in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, early Sunday

Victim was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Larkin Street in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, early Sunday 

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Cooley said when she got the call about a dead body, she had no idea it was her own child

Cooley said when she got the call about a dead body, she had no idea it was her own child

By the time Cooley arrived on the scene, her son, Charles Stewart Jr, 20, had already died of his injuries.

‘As we get out, I look and I was like, “This is my son, this is my son,”‘ Cooley recounted. ‘So, I literally just go into a breakdown…Like, why? Who would do this to my son?’

She added: ‘I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. I was seeing my own son laying there on the ground dead. It was pretty much a panic. It was just, it was too much.’ 

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Cooley then called her son’s father, Charles Stewart, telling him: ‘someone killed our baby.’ 

Cooley, pictured with Charles Jr's father, left, and her two surviving children, right, said the family are struggling to cope with her son's death

Cooley, pictured with Charles Jr’s father, left, and her two surviving children, right, said the family are struggling to cope with her son’s death 

Charles Jr's father said the 20-year-old was well-liked by everyone

He graduated from high school in 2019

Charles Jr’s father said the 20-year-old was well-liked by everyone. He graduated from high school in 2019 

The elder Charles Stewart said his son was liked by everyone, and the family do not know who would do that to him. 

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‘It’s traumatizing for the whole family,’ Cooley said. ‘We’re just trying to cope day to day.’

Charles Stewart Jr is survived by his parents, an older sister, who had just turned 22 years old last week, and a 17-year-old brother. 

‘I’m lost,’ wrote the man’s sister, Destinequa Hilliard, in a Facebook post. ‘How can anybody live after losing a sibling. ‘I’m trying to be the strong one but I’m getting weak I’ll never be able to see my brother again who ever did this is wrong why lord why. 

Hazlehurst Police Chief Darian Murray said because the homicide involves an officer’s family member, the case will be handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. 

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As of Tuesday morning, no arrests have been made in connection with the killing.  

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