Peggy Hunter, mother of Mikel Pittard, said she was surprised earlier this month to learn things about her son she never knew.
“He did a lot of stuff I didn’t know about. Some parents have walked up to me and told me he had spent time with their kids, read to them, helped them out with their homework, and I didn’t know anything about that,” she said.
It was a welcome compliment after Hunter lost Pittard earlier this month.
He was shot in the head while he sat in the front passenger seat of a Ford Crown Victoria at a stoplight on Oct. 11 at about 1:30 a.m., police said. Pittard was with a group of teens who had been kicked out of Club Lone Star, a teen club on Memorial Drive, for fighting. They had stopped at a red light on westbound Memorial Drive near I-285 northbound when the rear, right side passenger saw a four-door, burgundy Pontiac GTO pull up next to them, according to what he told the police.
A man in the GTO’s back seat shot at their car three times.
In total, five teens, including Pittard, ages 15 to 19 were in the Crown Victoria, Parish said. A back seat passenger was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston with a gunshot wound to his left leg, the report said. Another passenger had fled the car on foot by the time investigators arrived.
Police are investigating a possible link between an incident at the club and the shooting.
In local media reports, Hunter said friends of Pittard’s had discussed finding the shooters and seeking revenge. She said she has discouraged them from doing that.
“We don’t need no more bloodshed,” she said. “They’re not going to bring my baby back. We don’t need that at all. We need peace. This is time to be healing, not paying back.”
Pittard attended Decatur High School where he was a sophomore, Principal Lauri McKain-Fernandez said. Students dedicated their daily, morning moment of silence to the fallen student on Oct. 13.
Hunter said Pittard’s life revolved around the school.
“He was a good person, real sweet. He loved sports, basketball, football,” she said. “Everybody got along with him. … We called him the million-dollar smile.”
The family has set up two memorial funds at banks: one at Bank of America called The Mikel Pittard Memorial Fund Business Account and another at Decatur First Bank called The Mikel Pittard Memorial Fund.
“[Mikel’s death] is touching a lot people,” Hunter said. “Hopefully this will get to the young kids: that violence will not solve nothing.”