‘He will always be our baby,’: Family is seeking justice for 21-year-old after fatal shooting

Jerod Jeffrey wanted to pursue a higher education to get a career in the entertainment field

A family is sharing the legacy of their loved one after he was shot and killed at a Schertz apartment complex on Friday.

SCHERTZ, Texas – A family is sharing the legacy of their loved one after he was shot and killed at a Schertz apartment complex on Friday.

Junel Jeffrey, an Army officer and the aunt of 21-year-old Jerod Jeffrey, said everyone loved her nephew.

“He was well-loved by his entire family and he loved us all equally,” Junel said. “It is hard to know him as a 21-year-old man because he will always be our baby.”

Junel said that Jerod, who was nicknamed JJ, was a kind soul.

“What is interesting about him is that he had this ability to make family wherever he went,” Junel said. “He grew up in Miami, where my family first settled after we got here from Jamaica. He then moved to Georgia, where he had close family in the church there. I am in the military, so, when I was deployed to Fort Hood, he stayed with a close family friend in San Antonio.”

She said JJ loved to volunteer, help others, and worked multiple jobs. His biggest goal was to pursue a higher education.

“It was about a year ago when he was like, ‘Is it too late for me to go to school?’ He started getting his associate’s degree,” Junel said. “He’s a dreamer, but he was also a reality maker. He was turning his dreams into a reality. He had applied to university and he was in his last class before he was able to transfer. His dream was to go to a four-year university and pledge in a fraternity.”

Sadly, that dream came to an abrupt end on Friday when he was gunned down in a gray sedan.

Junel said she was in disbelief.

“I was in my basement here in Washington D.C. when my sister made a conference call to me and mother was on the call,” Junel said. “They told me what happened and I was in shock. I didn’t believe it nor did I want to. I thought this was clearly one of the times my sister had the information wrong.”

Junel said she called around and even waiting for Schertz police to call her back into the early hours of the next day.

“I could only think about regrets,” Junel said. “Think about the things he didn’t get a chance to do. Things I wanted to show him and could have told him. I was wondering why someone would do something like this. Just hoping he might wake up and it all wouldn’t be true.”

Junel said she is outraged and said that no one should ever lose their life the way her nephew did.

“I would tell them that they need to ask for forgiveness,” Junel said. “They need to take a better look and see the value of life. There is nothing, no money, no articles, nothing that you could have that is more valuable than someone’s life. I will tell you like this, if I could go back in a time machine, I would give everything up just to have his life back.”

Junel said that she is struggling to forgive the people responsible for her nephew’s death.

“Know when you do something like this, when you take someone’s life, it is not only about them,” Junel said. “It is about their family. You are taking from someone something you have no right to take. And you are taking from someone something you cannot give back. I hope they take this as an opportunity to be a better person in life.”

Schertz police say that witnesses saw a man running away from the crime scene in a black hoodie and red shorts.

They are asking anyone with any information that could lead to arrest to call their department at 210-243-8159.

“As they say, it takes a village and we are all a part of that village and we need the people who live in this village to help get this person,” Junel said.

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About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.