The mother of a Baton Rouge teen found shot to death on North 35th Street spent hours Sunday morning wondering where her son was, becoming more and more worried until police knocked on her door and informed her he wouldn't be coming home.
Evan Lemon II, 19, was found lying in a ditch in the 1200 block of North 35th Street around 9:35 a.m. Sunday, according to Baton Rouge police. He had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead on the scene.
No suspects or motives have been identified. Police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine a more exact timeline for the incident. It's not clear whether the shooting occurred overnight or closer to when the body was discovered.
Baton Rouge police detectives Sunday were investigating the death of a 19-year-old city man who was found in a ditch Sunday morning, his body …
Yvette Lemon, the victim's mother, said the family had been shopping for used cars on Saturday afternoon and had stopped to grab something to eat at a convenience store before heading home. She said her son ran into some friends outside the store and decided to go hang out with them.
"He kissed me on my cheek and said, 'Mom, I'll be back,'" she said through tears Monday morning. "I didn't see him again after that. He said he would be back. … I didn't know my baby was gonna die."
Yvette Lemon said she thought nothing of it when her son decided to spend time with friends Saturday afternoon. She also noted she didn't recognize the group of people he met up with.
She said she started getting worried when he didn't come home before his 9 p.m. curfew. When he still hadn't returned Sunday morning, she became even more anxious because he had never stayed out all night before.
Evan "Kyle" Lemon grew up in Baton Rouge and spent the past several years living with his mother and other relatives at their home on North Acadian Thruway West — less than half a mile from where he was found shot. Neighbors said the victim was found lying in a shallow roadside ditch not far from several houses that line the streets of Baton Rouge's Eden Park neighborhood.
Yvette Lemon said her son had attended both Tara High School and Capitol High School, and most recently had been looking for a job in retail. But she said his real passion was rapping.
"Every morning he would wake up rapping. He would go to bed rapping," she said, smiling through tears. "I would try to talk to him about being in the streets, but he was a good child. He always came back home."
She also remembered when her son helped rescue people from flooded cars when waters rose near the intersection of Acadian Thruway and Florida Street during the 2016 floods. Advocate photos from the time show Lemon, then 17, posing next to a woman he had rescued and wading barefoot through the water in an effort to salvage some of her belongings from inside the vehicle.
Yvette Lemon said her son's death marks the first time gun violence has touched her family, adding that she never knew Evan to carry a weapon himself. She described him as goofy and lighthearted, someone with a loving heart who loved to joke around.
"Now he's gone," she said. "This is something nobody should ever have to go through: burying your child."