‘It’s a botched investigation’: Family of JSU shooting victim speaks out

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:30 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Just a day after the second suspect connected to the Jackson State University shooting was released, Jaylen Burns’ family says the last few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions.

A Hinds County courtroom was full of emotions Monday after Judge James Bell released Jamison Kelly, the alleged getaway driver in the shooting death of Jaylen Burns, from custody.

“You know, somebody in that room picked up a gun, and Jaylen is dead, and they just let them walk out,” Jaylen’s father, Jason Burns, said.

Nearly a month ago, 3 On Your Side was the first to show you alleged evidence that the murder suspect, Joshua Brown, was nowhere near the scene of the crime. Since then, the only two suspects have been released.

“My anger is, it’s a botched investigation. Period. It’s botched, and now we have to start all over,” Jaylen’s stepmother, Shavon Burns, said. “And, you know, for the guy, Joshua Brown, if he wasn’t there, he wasn’t there. My heart goes out that the boy had to be locked up for pretty much a month.”

As the family works to process for a second time that their son’s killer is still on the loose, they try to cope with the fact Tuesday would have been Jaylen’s 22nd birthday.

“It’s like it’s just the very beginning. It’s like it just happened yesterday, and we can’t talk to our son today on his birthday and wish him a happy birthday. I can’t send him anything for his birthday. This is just, this is horrible,” Jason Burns said.

Now that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case, they want things to go a lot differently.

“We want this case to be investigated with a fine tooth comb. We want individuals questioned this time. When we sat in that courtroom, we realized that people weren’t even being questioned,” Shavon Burns said.

“His line brothers, if you guys are supposed to be your brother’s keeper, then act like it. Come forward and tell the truth,” Jason Burns said.

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