YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been one year since 14-year-old Landon Lockhart’s mother received the tragic news that her son had been killed.
“It’s been very hard. Very, very hard… Not being able to wake up and see my baby in the morning, not be able to talk to him,” said LaJena Solomon, Lockhart’s mother.
On Jan. 13, 2022, Lockhart was found dead in a wooded area on the East Side of Youngstown. He had been missing since late November 2021.
Now, a year later, his family is remembering him and still fighting for justice.
“He was that joy. He was always live, laughing, he loved life. He never was down about anything, no matter what,” LaJena said.
Lockhart’s family gathered together on Friday to light candles and release balloons in his honor. A banner hung with his photos, and words of encouragement were shared.
“As family, what do we need to do? Everybody gotta look out for each other… We gotta come together,” said First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver.
With tears rolling down her eyes, Lockhart’s sister Jovonna Solomon says now she is a voice for her brother and she will never let him be forgotten.
“We’re gonna say his name forever, forever. We ain’t gonna stop. Never,” she said.
Lockhart’s family plans to put up a mural of him and have park benches for people to sit and visit in the same spot they gathered at on Friday.
Lockhart would be a freshman in high school now. His 16th birthday would be coming up in April. His life was cut short by violence and his family has been left to make sense of it all.
“The violence on the street is ridiculous. It’s still going on. It’s never going to stop. I mean, I understand the police can only do so much. The community has to step up and do more,” LaJena said.
LaJena went on to urge people to stand up against the violence by calling the police when they hear gunfire, turning in people responsible for violence and taking action to help the community.
Three 16-year-old juveniles have been arrested and charged with aggravated murder in Lockhart’s death. Officials on the case say more charges could soon be coming for others as well.