GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A 15-year-old Gulfport teen has died after being shot last week in the Gaston Point community. Now, his mother is searching for answers and closure.
Todd Miller was shot May 13 near 14th Street and Rhorer Avenue. Now, a memorial stands in that location remembering the teenager.
Another 15-year-old was arrested and charged in the shooting. Now, Todd’s mother Zandria Miller is left trying to cope with the enormous loss.
“They took my son. Even if their son is locked up, they can see their son again behind bars," said Zandria Miller as she dried tears from her eyes. “I can’t go see my son. I got to go to the graveyard,” said Miller. "When you shoot somebody in the head, you meant to kill that person. It ain’t no accident.”
Police say the boys were friends who hung out together, and that other teens were around when the shooting happened.
“They knew it was a murder from the get-go," said the distraught mother. "They came to them and told them it was a murder and a robbery.”
Zandria said Todd did not get in trouble and had big dreams, which included joining the military.
“He was a good boy and (police are) looking at it as if he probably was a troubled kid already," said the mother. “He wasn’t a troubled kid. He was a good kid. He liked to cook. He wanted to go into the Navy. He was a good kid.”
Now, she and her friend, Renee Broomfield, are now speaking out against gun violence.
“This was a bad situation but, in this situation, we can try and fix it," said Broomfield. "Stopping this gun violence starts now. It starts with the babies because it’s getting closer and closer to younger-aged kids and we can’t have that. So, if it’s the last thing I do, we are going to stop gun violence in Mississippi at least. I can’t stop it everywhere but we can start here.”
Adding to her grief, Zandria can’t afford the unexpected expense of trying to lay her child to rest. She is reaching out to her community to try and raise the money for Todd’s funeral and burial expenses.
The Miller family is selling home-cooked meals to raise money for the funeral and burial expenses.
To date, over $1500 has been raised to help with Todd’s funeral expenses. The family has set up a Go Fund Me account where people can donate if they’d like. You can find that by clicking HERE.
Donations can also be made directly to Infinity Funeral Home in Biloxi, said Zandria.