Shooting victim’s mom speaks out against gun violence


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)–One Evansville mom is speaking up, spreading awareness about the consequence of guns and gun violence. She told Eyewitness News she doesn’t know where the gun came from that left her 15-year-old son on a long road to recovery after being shot in the head two weeks ago.

“I was just shocked,” Brandy Johnston said recalling Tuesday, November 17, when her world was rocked to it’s core. Her son, Jayvier, was shot in the head shortly after taking out the trash for his mom. “It devastated me.”

Jayvier went into the backyard with his teenaged cousin. Evansville police say they somehow got a gun. The cousin told investigators the weapon just went off and a bullet hit Jayvier in the head.

“I’m not a gunowner so I didn’t expect to hear a shot that close to my house,” explained Johnston. She said after hearing the shot, her oldest son acted quickly. “He jerked Jayvier up and he said he [Jayvier] opened his eyes when he jerked him up.”

Within seconds of hearing the gunshot, Johnston bolted outside. She was initially frozen by fear and terror. The shock set in even more at the hospital when workers told Johnston to brace for the worst.

“They told me he wouldn’t make it through the night, but he did because God says who lives and who dies,” Johnston said. She credits the community’s prayers for Jayvier’s miraculous survival. “Jayvier was a loving person, full of funnies, full of confidence. He was just a lovable kid.”

“I’m glad I still have my baby,” said Johnston.

Investigators say the teenaged cousin is facing charges for shooting Javier, but Johnston believes it was all an accident.

“I don’t think he intentionally tried to shoot my son because they were very close. It’s just a tragedy that it happened,” Johnston explained.

Because the cousin is a juvenile, the prosecutor is not releasing information on his case.

Jayvier is at Deaconess hospital, waiting to be transferred to St. Louis to start rehab as he recovers from brain injuries.

The family has set up a GoFundMe called “Jayvier’s Journey” to help Johnston as she travels back and forth for her son’s appointments.

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(This story was originally published on December 2, 2020)

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