YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tears rolled down a mother’s eyes on Wednesday as she celebrated what should have been her son’s 16th birthday.

Landon Lockhart was 14 years old when he was killed. Almost a year and a half later, his family is not letting his memory die.

“We celebrate for him every holiday,” said LaJena Solomon, Landon’s mom.

A banner with photos of Landon hung on Solomon’s porch. A birthday cake was made with his photos saying, “Happy Heavenly 16th Birthday Boogie.”

His mom and sisters shared their love for him.

“We miss him but we know he’s watching us at the same time,” said Javon Alexander, Landon’s sister.

Solomon says all she can do is take each day one at a time. Wednesday, April 12, was the day Landon would have been hitting driving age. Instead, a balloon release was held in his honor.

Landon Lockhart
Landon Lockhart

His mother said she knows Landon is still there. Then, when one single balloon refused to fly away with the rest, she felt it was him confirming that.

Solomon thinks of Landon every day and the teenager he would have grown into, the future he would have and the memories they all shared.

“I want justice. I mean, I know there’s a lot more out here and a lot more people, but with what you got now, I want justice,” Solomon said.

She says she hopes the senseless violence in the city will stop before more lives are lost.