Mother demands justice after teen was shot and killed
ELKHART, Ind. -- An investigation continues in Elkhart after a teenager was found dead after getting shot multiple times.
Right now we’re learning more after 16-year-old Jaiden Cooper was found early Saturday along a set of railroad tracks, but that’s not how his mother wants him to be remembered.
“As a leader, as a caring person. When I see my son, I know him as having a gentle heart,” said the teen’s mother Christy Johnson.
“No mother should have to go through this. No person should have to go through this,” she said.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office has not released any shooter information, but Jaiden’s mother has something to say to whoever pulled the trigger.
“His fate should not have ultimately been in your hands, and eventually, I’m hoping you’re brought to justice,” said Johnson. “You took away somebody that was important to me, as well as to others.”
“He was a good friend and someone to talk to,” said Cooper’s classmate Anijah Villela.
Jaiden went to school at The Crossing in Goshen which provides job training as well as academic and faith based education for struggling students.
“How could something like this happen to one of my students,” asked Cooper’s Job Training Instructor Langston Wenger.
Students there have become a family because the school is so small.
The Crossing is taking steps to process the loss of Jaiden.
“You build a connection that’s stronger than a friendship,” explained Villela.
School leaders say Jaiden had a great future ahead.
“He knew how to persevere, he knew how to problem solve,” said The Crossing CEO and Founder Rob Staley.
“He was someone who wanted to go above and beyond expectations to achieve his goals to achieve things in life,” Wegner said.
And as the 16-year-old’s life was cut short, his mother is demanding justice for her son and asking the community to speak out.
“Bullets do not have an eyesight, but the shooter does have a name. And I would appreciate it for justice to be served, somebody speak up and tell what happened that night on those tracks,” said Johnson.
Approximately 100 people travelled to the scene of the shooting to hold a candlelight vigil to remember Cooper.
I've been through cancer four times, I've been in the penitentiary, I've been shot four times but this by far really broke my heart," The Crossing staff member Rudy Ortega said.
Johnson says that an autopsy has been completed, but the information she has been given is limited.