Crime Stoppers: Familiar streets, familiar silence in shooting death

Crime Stoppers: Familiar streets, familiar silence in shooting death

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Imagine living in a place your whole life, where you know the sights, the sounds, the people and the streets, so you feel safe.

That's how CJ Grigsby Jr. of Baton Rouge felt, until those streets took his life. In an instant, that familiar safety disappeared and his life was ended.

"Whoever did it is a coward," his mother, Alma Thomas, said. "And, we're getting conflicting stories. One say this, one say that."

Unfortunately, no one is saying much right now. Thomas is the mother of a man who was shot and killed in the 3700 block of Geronimo Street back on March 16, 2013. A pretty solemn anniversary just passed the family by.

He's been gone three years and still his killer is out there, a killer that investigators believe knows the neighborhood.

"I'm quite sure he is from this area," Det. Belford Johnson with the Baton Rouge Police Department said. "He was on foot, comfortable enough to be on foot in this area at this time."

It was just before midnight and Grigsby and a friend had just got off of work. Detectives believe they were approached by someone who tried to rob them right in Grigsby's own driveway. They didn't get anything, but they ended a life.

"It was a bad day," said his brother, Erwin Grigsby. "There was only four of us. Momma had four kids. He was the oldest."

The three left and mom are left with so many questions, so, too, are his kids.

"Mr. C J was a single father. Had three kids living with him," Johnson added.

There were three at home, but one was already in college. He lost his wife to cancer back in 2005, so it was just him. He was a single father who was trying to make things work, something his mother said she saw every day.

"It's been him. This whole load has been on him," Thomas explained.

Now, his kids have no mother and no father. The youngest turned 11 shortly before this all happened. She still has so much growing up to do. And, she has to do it with this heartache. Adding to the heartache is that disturbing feeling that whoever did this, they all know.

"We grew up here. My brother grew up in that neighborhood. He was murdered where he grew up. Nobody wants to tell us who did it and why," Erwin Grigsby said.

The victim's mother doesn't understand the silence, certainly not from a neighborhood she thought she knew.

"For people to see us every day, as well as they know us, and keep their mouths closed. Not just my child, anybody's child," she said.

Any given day, it is somebody's child. There is so much senseless killing. But if nobody talks, if nobody stands up, there will be many more of those days, days like the one that took a brother, a father, a son.

"The worst thing is people you know so well won't say anything. I'm not understanding that."

The code of silence is keeping another killer safe and preventing another family from taking that next step in healing. Maybe after three years, that phone call can finally be made.

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