Michelle Jackson released a flurry of blue and white balloons into the dark, frigid sky.
“This for you, my son, rest on,” she said.
Jackson’s son, Walter “Putt” Jackson, 34, was shot to death Sunday, and dozens of friends and family came together Wednesday night at her Marrero home to mourn his death.
Michelle Jackson, 53, wore a shirt with her son’s picture on it and moved through the crowd receiving hugs and condolences.
Jackson worked as a pipe-fitter and lived with a woman who friends said was his fiancée. Jackson’s sister and another friend said the couple had been together for 10 years.
Members of the crowd lit candles, praying together, trying to understand a death that in their minds defied reason.
“It makes no sense,” said Jackson’s sister Trenice Donsereaux, 37. “It makes no sense.”
Donsereaux said she loved playing video games and basketball with Jackson when they were younger. As his older sister, she kept a close eye on him and said he was always popular with girls.
Donsereaux was at work Sunday when her sister called to inform her of Jackson’s death.
“It felt like my soul got ripped out of my body,” she said.
Family members said Jackson was dropping a woman off at her home in the 2800 block of Palmyra Street in Mid-City when he was shot. Police found him dead inside a black Toyota.
The investigation is ongoing and no suspects have been named at this time, New Orleans police spokesman Tyler Gamble said.
Follow Benjamin Oreskes on Twitter, @boreskes.