ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A St. Louis woman is hoping to finally heal after losing her son over a year ago. Sixteen year-old Jaleel Jackson was shot to death when he tried to break in to a police officer’s home.
The officer was never charged with his death, but now, he could be headed to jail anyway.
On Sunday, this Pagedale reserve officer, 34 year-old James Little, got into a domestic dispute with his son’s soon-to-be step-father. Little fatally shot this man, William Dupree, in front of two young children.
The mother of the teen this officer killed in 2011, Gheila Harris, just found out Wednesday morning. “I got a phone call from my sister, saying Jaleel’s killer killed again,” Harris says, “I just had a chill that came over me.”
Jaleel would have graduated high school this year. His mother says he was an outgoing person starting to find his way. Harris explains, “I’m not gonna paint him as this perfect child because he was a teenager, he did things he shouldn’t have done.”
But the teen never got to learn from his mistakes, since his life was cut short when Little, then a Beverly Hills police officer, fatally shot him.
Harris remembers the moment just like it was yesterday: “A policeman came, put me in a car and took me around to the alley, to where I had to identify the body of my son, laying there.”
Since Little killed the 16 year-old in self-defense, he never faced charges. Seventeen months later, Harris says the emotional wounds still haven’t healed: “I don’t think I’ve ever had closure, you know because I know that my son’s killer is out there running free.”
But it’s likely Little won’t be running free any longer, after Sunday’s fatal shooting. She hates that another family now has to suffer, but says she’ll stand by them to make sure no more lives are robbed at the hands of this police officer.
Harris laments, “He was my oldest son, my only son. You know it’s just hard for a parent to bury their child. It’s not right, in the whole scheme of life it’s not right.”
Other than Sunday’s killing, Little has no criminal record. Now he faces four charges: 1st Degree Murder, Armed Criminal Action, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Pagedale police couldn’t be reached for comment.