The pain for Debra Brown was so bad that she actually had to move out of Manteca.
Not long after the memorial services ended for her grandson Antonio Brown, who as a soon-to-be East Union sophomore was killed when somebody fired a gun into a friend’s house and struck the 15-year-old, Brown said that she and her family just couldn’t stand to drive around town and see the things that reminded them of the bright and energetic young man that didn’t seem to have any problems with anybody.
It was too hard, she said, and the pain was far too constant.
But now that nearly a year has gone by and there still hasn’t been an arrest of the person responsible, Brown is making a concerted effort to remind people of the fact that the person who pulled the trigger is still at large – something that makes it next to impossible for the family to move on to the next chapter of the grieving process.
“Knowing that the person responsible is still out there definitely makes it harder for the wound to close – absolutely,” said Brown, who has created a reward for anybody who provides information for the arrest and successful prosecution of the person responsible. “He was this great kid that got killed and the person who did it is still out there and he’s not with us anymore, and that’s hard thing for us to process.”
And she’s planning on doing a lot more than just passing out fliers.
Next week Brown is going to meet with a local advertising company that owns the billboard at the corner of Airport Way and Yosemite Avenue to see about getting something put up that will inform passing motorists of the reward and remind people that even though it’s been nearly a year – he was killed on July 5 – that his family is still working to get justice for the honor student and athlete that she said “was a friend to everybody.”
“He was just a great guy that was caring and kind and respectful and he got good grades and he was good sports and he made friends with everybody – even the kids that didn’t really fit in where most people did,” she said. “If he saw someone sitting off on the corner, he’s go over there and talk to them and you could see that it helped build confidence in that person.
“He was a good family kid and he had a lot of trust in people and didn’t let his problems get to him – he would just say ‘don’t worry about it’ and move on to the next thing. He wasn’t the kind of person who would try and be the center of attention all the time, and he was great to the people that were in his life. He’s missed very much.”
Brown said that she’s not currently advertising the amount of the reward, but said that the money has been set aside and will be given to anybody who provides the Manteca Police Department with the critical lead that will result in the successful arrest and capture of the killer.
Anybody with any information about the case, any lead or any possible suspects is urged to contact Detective Stephen Schluer at the Manteca Police Department at 209.456.8101, or South County Crimestoppers at 209.823.4636. Those who report information on a crime to Crimestoppers leading to an arrest can also be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.