Nearly a week after 22-year-old Dominique Horton was shot and killed on 32nd Avenue, Natasha Washington was overcome with emotion as she spoke about losing her first-born child.
“I’m lost,” said Washington, who is a mother to four others. “Can’t you see the hurt in my eyes?”
Columbus police said Horton was one of two men who were shot Jan. 5 in the 300 block of 32nd Avenue, where a large group of people met to watch two female juveniles fight. The 4 p.m. incident escalated when a man pulled out a gun and fired shots in the crowd.
Horton and the second victim were transported to Midtown Medical Center. The second victim was treated and released, but Horton was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4:09 p.m. that day.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said several witnesses apparently recorded the incident.
Washington, who lives a few houses down from where the shooting took place, said people have sent her videos of the incident and it’s unbearable to hear the gunshots.
“They took my first-born child away from me,” the mother said. “I’m used to seeing my baby every morning. I’m used to hearing his voice.”
Lonnie Washington, Horton’s grandmother, said the 22-year-old man was loved by many and had a lot of love to give.
“He had his ups and down,” Lonnie Washington said. “He wasn’t perfect, but he laid his life down for his family.”
Natasha Washington said she told Horton that she loved him the morning of the incident, but she had no clue that it would be the last time she saw him. She was overcome with emotion as she described the pain of being stripped of a chance to continue enjoying life with her son, who she described as a jokester who everyone loved.
“I can’t hear my baby say, ‘Mama, let’s do this. Mama, come on. Let’s walk to store. Mama, come on. Let’s go over here by my sister’s house. Mama, let’s ride,’” Natasha Washington said.
While bearing the grief of her son’s death, Natasha Washington is continuing to search for ways to cover funeral costs. The family has benefited from a couple of fundraisers since the incident, but they have yet to gather enough money to cover all expenses.
“This right here is so hurtful and stressful,” said Natasha Washington. “I have to put up money here to try to put him in the ground.”
Natasha Washington said she has had trouble eating and sleeping for days. In the midst of her grief and fight for justice, the mother said someone tried to intimidate her with gunshots Tuesday night.
She said an unidentified man drove up and down the street in front of her home firing shots in the air and doing donuts in the area where Horton was shot. No one was hurt during the incident that she described as a threat to her and her family.
“Let us grieve,” Lorraine Washington said. “Have respect for my family.”
Despite the hardship of it all, Lorraine has faith that her family will get through it.
“We weren’t expecting this, but I know it’s going to be all right,” the grandmother said.