Jennifer Landry takes comfort in one thing. Even after her 17-year-old son was shot in Harvey, she said, he kept running all the way to a church in Gretna.
“When he died on that church’s steps, it brought him back home,” she said.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office identified her son, Sidney Landry, as the victim of a shooting on the bank of a canal near 21st Street and Tallowtree Lane in Harvey about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The youth managed to make it to the front porch of a home in the 1200 block of 21st Street in Gretna — which his mother said operates as a church — before dying.
Landry, 36, said she had dropped her son off at her home in the 2400 block of Rose Drive in Gretna about 6 p.m. She believes he then crossed over the canal to Tallowtree Lane in Harvey, a neighborhood described by JPSO investigators as a high-crime area and known to locals as Mary Poppins.
Landry said she believes he then participated in a rap contest that erupted into an argument before he was shot.
JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said Friday that he had no new information to offer on a motive or suspects in the case.
Landry said she was upset that some people might have assumed the worst about her son when they heard he was the victim of a shooting. She readily admitted that he had his share of problems — including, according to court records, a simple burglary conviction in August. He had struggled since entering St. Ville Academy as an alternative to high school at age 14, she said.
But there was another side to her son, she said — one that only family members usually saw. This Sidney Landry was the one who made sure to come home every night to take care of his disabled 16-year-old brother, Tralen “King Tut” Landry. This Sidney Landry was the one who pushed around his younger brother’s wheelchair, which weighed 168 pounds with him in it.
Jennifer Landry, a chef, said she’s “as lowest in the middle class as you can get … barely above water.” She loved her “goofy” son, she said, and she had come to rely on him to take care of his brother during her long nights at the restaurant.
“I needed Sidney. I promise you,” she said.
Since her son’s death, Landry said, his friends have steadily dropped by her house to pay their respects to his memory. They also have turned the nearby porch where he died into a humble memorial covered with teddy bears, candles and a can of Hawaiian Punch.
Sidney Landry’s father, Ernest Weatherspoon, 38, said he visited that stoop Thursday night and wept.
The parents plan a candlelight memorial for him there at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“We don’t wish this pain on no other parents,” Weatherspoon said.
“Not even the killer,” added Landry.