The death of an 18-year-old described as an optimist who always looked on the bright side and encouraged others to do the same has left his family in shock and waiting for answers.
Deon Womack, of Baton Rouge, was waiting for his father to pick him up from his best friend's house around 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 3200 block of Kimberly Drive, just a few blocks from his own home. Before his dad arrived, however, he was shot and died on the driveway, said Baton Rouge Police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola.
The teen's mother, Samantha Womack, said her son's close friend lived at the home and Deon Womack often stayed there.
Her husband had passed the house on his way to pick up their other son, who was at a different house, and when the father returned to get Deon Womack, the teen had already been shot.
Samantha Womack said her husband did not hear gunshots though he was just around the block.
Shantelle Johnson, who lives across the street from the shooting site, said she didn't hear gunshots either, but she did hear a commotion and screaming, which drew her out of her house.
Womack was shot in the neck, said Baton Rouge Police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, who also noted that another neighbor also did hear the shots, but thought it was fireworks.
On Wednesday afternoon, as two investigators stood talking on the sidewalk near the site of the shooting, Womack's extended family gathered in the living room at his home. His mother, who said her son's death hadn't fully hit her yet, described the teen as always in a good mood and someone who enjoyed life.
"He told us we sweat the small things," Samantha Womack said. "He'd say he got a lovely life. He'd say he did not worry about anything."
The teen's aunt, Nora Perry, said she never saw him upset. Johnson, the neighbor, said she knew him in passing and described him as amenable and respectful, always saying hello as he passed by.
Deon Womack received his GED at 16 years old and was working as a meat butcher in a grocery store, but aspired to work at a large plant where his uncle worked, his mother said.
"It's tragic," Samatha Womack said. "Especially when you really don't know the details. You don't know what really happened."
There are no known suspects or motives, Coppola said.
Coppola asked that anyone with information on the shooting to contact the Violent Crimes unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.