Jonathan Scott had left the barber shop Tuesday night and drove onto Florida Boulevard to head to a friend's house.
The 23-year-old Baton Rouge native never made it.
A string of vehicles, led by a man trying to evade Livingston Parish Sheriff's detectives and other law enforcement, came flying down the road from Walker, crashing into Scott's car, killing him.
Scott, the youngest of four children, the uncle to nieces and nephews, the "joy to have as a son" as his father said, died in a hospital soon after the crash.
"He was love and laughter. He was life," his stepmother, Rosalyn Scott, said in an interview Thursday from her Baton Rouge home. "He knew how to love and respect his family."
Her husband, the Rev. Robert Scott Jr., started to laugh, recalling how his son would always smack him on the behind. Then the pastor, recalling how his son had always called him 'Pops,' turned sober.
"It shouldn't have happened," said Scott, pastor of Nathaniel Baptist Church in Centreville, Mississippi. "My son should still be living right now; I shouldn't be preparing a funeral, I shouldn't be burying my son."
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As the Scotts tried to focus on memorializing their son, they couldn't help but question how authorities handled the chase, how the pursuit continued until it turned deadly.
"We're not just angry about this one individual who had all this trouble in his past," Rosalyn Scott said. "When do you pull back and say the community is more important than this one person (who they) will capture eventually?"
Reginald Weeden, 30, the man authorities chased after he fled narcotics detectives who had approached him in Walker, was convicted of manslaughter in 2005 and was out on bail, awaiting criminal proceedings from an Aug. 11 arrest on drug counts.
A Tuesday night drug investigation by Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office in Walker that tran…
The detectives, from the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, followed Weeden for about 10 miles, with Denham Springs Police joining the pursuit, until the crash in Baton Rouge, said Livingston Sheriff's spokeswoman Lori Steele.
Robert Scott was astounded law enforcement still chase people at all.
"If you chase anybody, you're subject to putting somebody in danger," Robert Scott said. "If they wouldn't have chased this guy, my son would still be here."
Steele said the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office does not ban vehicle pursuits and they do conduct specific training for situations that would involve such pursuits. She said each situation leading to a pursuit is different, depending on the nature and degree of the crime, the perpetrator, the location of the incident, and the presence of civilians or innocent parties. She would not give details about what led to this chase because she said it remains under investigation by multiple agencies.
"At the end of the day our baby is gone," Rosalyn Scott said. "There's so much that could have been done differently, but it wasn't."
Baton Rouge Police plan to arrest Weeden, of 6655 Fern Drive, Baton Rouge, upon his release from the hospital on counts of negligent homicide and aggravated flight from an officer, said police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola. Steele said her deputies also plan to arrest Weeden after Baton Rouge Police book him into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
Robert Scott had been at the National Baptist Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, when his family learned of his son's death, and he immediately flew home. He and his family have since planned Jonathan Scott's funeral for Sept. 16 at Star Hill Baptist Church on North Foster Drive. Visitation is scheduled at 9 a.m. with the service to follow.
"It's numbing, and it hurts," Rosalyn Scott said. "It didn't just affect the Scott family … it affected a community."
Jonathan Scott's parents said he was always dreaming up something to do next, coming up with new ideas. He dabbled in rap music, had considered joining the armed forces, and thought about moving to California to pursue a business venture.
"He's young, he's 23 years old," Robert Scott said. "He was really finding himself, he was at that place."
Jonathan Scott's latest plan was to travel to Houston to help the Hurricane Harvey and flood victims there, his mother said. He had arranged to leave soon.
"When the flood happened in August (2016) here, he helped me clean out houses for people," Robert Scott said. "Jonathan was that type of person — if he knew someone needed help he was going to be the first one to help."
Jonathan Scott graduated in 2012 from McKinley High, where he had played on the school's baseball team as a pitcher, his parents said. He had a job as a teenager at Taco Bell, advancing to a manager position. He had also worked at the now-closed East West Copolymer plant and most recently in landscaping, his parents said, always finding a way to support himself.
"We loved to cut grass together, watching movies, playing ball, so many things," Robert Scott said. "Jonathan was a very lively kid. … I'll miss his smile, I'll miss his laugh, I'll miss him hittin' on me, I'll miss his calls, his texts; I'll miss him calling me 'Pops.'"
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office does not conduct specific training on vehicle pursuits. In fact, they do conduct such training. The Advocate regrets the error.