Raymond Phillips

Raymond "TJ" Phillips, 15, was shot and killed Feb. 15 in the parking lot of 5765 Prescott Road. His mother shared this photo with The Advocate.

Family and friends of Raymond Phillips said Friday the 15-year-old died far too young when he was shot and killed Thursday outside of Tak's Food Mart on Prescott Road.

Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman, said Friday, police had no new leads in the case. Officers said shortly after the shooting Thursday that there were no known eyewitnesses to the shooting and they did not have any suspects.

Phillips, who went by "TJ," was in seventh grade at Broadmoor Middle School. More than a dozen mourners gathered Friday outside his mother's home as they remembered him as someone who loved basketball, girls and being the life of a party.

Erica Williams, the boy's mother, said Friday that she was at her St. Andrew Avenue home Thursday when a group of kids who were near the scene of her son's shooting came to her house and told her what had happened. She said her son was dead by the time she got to Prescott Road, though police said Phillips died later at a hospital.

Williams said her son had recently gotten into a fight with another boy, and she suspected that he was shot out of revenge. She said she had been worried about him hanging out with the wrong crowd. Friends posted pictures of Phillips on social media Friday to mourn his loss.

"We're a hurt family trying to seek justice," said Dominique Carminer, a close friend of the family. "He was a little bitty dude, but had the heart of a lion."

Williams and her family moved from Port Allen to Baton Rouge a few years ago, they said. Phillips had a horse named Lightning in Port Allen, and they said Friday that he especially loved riding the horse.

His 14-year-old sister, Ravaniqua Phillips, said her brother loved the color red, new pairs of shoes and looking good. He used to wake her up for school in the mornings and she said she will miss him doing that.

Some students at Broadmoor Middle wore white shirts Friday that they decorated with phrases like "long live TJ," and "rest in peace." A group of boys waved their shirts out the windows of school bus 2554 as they were heading home Friday.

"I miss my boy!" one of them shouted.

Taylor Gast, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system,  said Friday that Broadmoor school administrators were not ready yet to talk about Phillips. The school system released a statement calling the shooting a "senseless tragedy" and said school guidance counselors and "I Care" specialists would be available for anyone who needed extra support.

Police have asked anyone with information about Phillips' death to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.


Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​