Techea Adams says the last six years of not knowing who killed her son, has left her with a tortured life.
"I'm gonna be real raw with you," she says, choking back tears because she believes it makes her stronger. "When it happened, I heard everything."
Adams lived on 126th Street in Willowbrook, just up the street from Cesar Chavez High School. She bought the house when her son Kejon Atkins was 4 years old. She raised him, an older brother and a younger sister there. But when she heard gun shots, sirens and helicopters on July 23, 2015 – before noon – she didn't realize then that everything was about to change.
Those sounds still echo in her mind daily. She says her 22-year-old son wouldn't often leave his home even to go for a walk or a jog. He took his car everywhere. But this day, she says a friend of his came to their home with plans to do just that. She was working from home at the time and on a business call when Kejon walked out the door.
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LA County Sheriff's Department Homicide Detective Theo Baljet, the lead detective on the case, says 911 callers were very descriptive with what they witnessed and that their information would be key to what would become a homicide case.
"Two cars, driving in tandem," Baljet says. "A gold-colored Nissan sedan and a two-tone maroon and gray Pontiac Vibe."
Both vehicles were caught on surveillance video running a red light just after the shooting, headed south on Wilmington and turning east on El Segundo Boulevard.
"Kejon was shot in the head, had earphones in and right through the earphones so we don't think he even knew the shots were coming," he says.
For four days Kejon would hold onto every breath at the hospital, his mother holding onto his hand for every inhale and exhale.
"It just hurt like hell," Techea recalls. "I would pray with him, ask God to forgive him. He smiled once. I know now that was him saying goodbye."
Homicide detectives took over the case when Kejon died. Six years later, with a $10,000 reward being offered, they're hopeful someone will say something about what happened. They say both cars involved were packed with people – male and female – the shooter believed to be a man in the backseat of the gold Nissan.
"Everyone who's holding their secret is just as guilty," Techea says. "I want justice but I don't wish this pain, not even on their mom."
Techea keeps Kejon's remains in a dove-shaped urn in her home, beside homemade candles she makes as a hobby and side hustle. Kejon's Light Candle Company, she says, helps her keep a light lit in his memory.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.