BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Shoes on a wire are something you've possibly come across before or seen in your travels or maybe it's something you see all the time in your neighborhood.
The shoes are tossed up high for all to see. They serve as a marker. Depending on where you live, that can mean many different things, including that someone has died.
That's what they mean if you come across them in the 4300 block of Southpark Drive in Baton Rouge. An off duty deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office heard gunshots in the area on August 19. He went looking and came across Artez Hamilton. He was still alive, but just barely.
Det. Scott Henning with EBRSO is working the case now.
"The victim left his residence and came here to the area to meet with some unknown people," Henning said. "At some point, while he met with those people, some shots were fired and the victim was killed."
Hamilton ended up dying at the hospital. His mother, Denise Renee Hamilton, remembers being there that night, walking down that hallway to see him.
"As I walked down the hall, it got harder and harder, like I was carrying bricks," she recalled. "I asked the lady, just kind of stopped in my tracks, 'Is my son dead?'"
He was and her world changed forever. But what happened? How did he end up on the wrong side of a gun?
"Nothing bad has been said about him. We don't know of any known problems that he was having," Henning explained.
His mother can't figure it out either. Why would someone end a life like this? It is just cold-blooded. She has another word for it and a message.
"For people to be so evil, I'll say this to our young men. I need for them to get it together. I pray for everybody's child," she said.
And she knows as she prays for every child, among them is most likely here son's killer. That's a hard pill to swallow, but one she says is not unexpected.
"It's always someone you know. That's my perspective. It's never a stranger who takes your life. It's probably one of the little guys who spent the night here or I feed or took home or took to a game. In my heart, that's what it says," she added.
The mother and son were always pretty tight. She loved to pour over old text messages the two had sent back and forth.
"I go over and I read them. 'Goodnight mom, I love you mom.' 'Good morning mom, Love you mom.' 'I love you son.' We did that," she said.
They used to, anyway. Now, old text messages are all she has. Nothing new is coming in. It is kind of the same with detectives and this case right now. They need something new. Maybe you can help.
If you have any information about this case, contact Crime Stoppers at 344-7867, text CS225 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) or anonymously or go to www.crimestoppersbr.com.