Family of teen shot and killed believe ‘bully’ pulled the trigger

On Tuesday, Jaeden Travis was shot just feet from his home, near Winward Lane and Windmill in Norcross and later died at the hospital.
Harold Travis is devasted by the loss of his youngest son, Jaeden Travis. The 7th grader was shot just feet from his home, near Winward Lane and Windmill in Nor
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:54 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2023 at 7:42 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The family of a 13-year-old boy shot and killed on Tuesday believe they know who pulled the trigger.

Harold Travis is devasted by the loss of his youngest son, Jaeden Travis. The 7th grader was shot just feet from his home, near Winward Lane and Windmill in Norcross.

“They destroyed my life,” Harold said. “That was my best friend, that was my little guy. We did everything together.”

According to Harold, Jaeden saw a car full of boys who he had beefed with before and ran to confront them. By the time Harold made it outside, he heard several gunshots and saw his son hit the ground. Jaeden later died at the hospital.

“It’s like he got to say in the house and that’s not fair,” said Jaequitta Milerson, Jaeden’s mom. “He’s 13. He wanted to enjoy his life.”

Milerson said the family knows who pulled the trigger. They believe it’s a young man who allegedly bullied their son for years.

“All kinds of stuff, sending pictures of guns, threatening to kill him,” she said of alleged threats against her son. “Now, ya’ll killed my baby.”

Milerson said Jaeden was recently moved to an alternative school because of problems her son kept having with an unidentified group. She claims, on separate occasions, the family also called the police to investigate incidents where her son was targeted outside of school.

“If we’re crying out to the police and making police reports about our children being bullied, they need to investigate more than write it down in Black and white,” she said. “Until now something happens and now y’all want to investigate. It’s too late.”

The family’s loss comes as the Norcross community is already reeling from the death of two other teens. 16-year-old Susana Morales was laid to rest this week, six months after she disappeared. 17-year-old Rodrigo Floriana died last week of a reported overdose. Another teenager was charged with trying to conceal Floriano’s death. An ex-Doraville police officer is facing charges related to Morales’ death.

“It’s sad,” said Milerson. “Something’s got to give. Something’s got to give.”

Atlanta News First reached out to Gwinnett County Police regarding the allegations made by Jaeden’s parents. A department spokesperson said they need more time to investigate. The agency has named a suspect nor given a motive related to the case.

Anyone with information should contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

The principal at Radloff Middle School, where Jaeden used to attend, sent the following letter to parents:

One of the things I value about our school community is it is close, caring, and supportive. Qualities we need at this time.

It is with deep sadness that I inform you about the tragic loss of a former member of the Radloff Middle School family. Late this evening, the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) informed us that a student was killed in an act of violence near his home.

This news came as a shock to our staff here at Radloff Middle. We are deeply saddened by this news as the loss of such a young, promising life touches all of us. Our hearts and thoughts are with family, friends, and loved ones of the student who passed away, as they cope with this tremendous personal loss. As this is an open police investigation, I do not have further details to share, but I wanted to be sure you knew of our school community’s loss.

As news of this student’s passing is shared, we realize that some of our students may need additional support as they grieve for their classmate and friend. We also know that for some of our students, this may be the first time they have experienced this type of loss and they may need support. With that said, I wanted to share with you steps we will be taking to serve any student who needs support.

We notified our staff about this situation so that they are ready to help our kids, keeping an eye out for any students who are struggling. In addition, our counselors are well trained in assisting children with difficult issues such as this, and they are available to help anyone who needs it. Dealing with death is hard, and it can be very challenging for children and young adolescents. If you find that your child needs help or someone to talk to about this situation, please don’t hesitate to contact the school. We will arrange appropriate counseling support. In addition, below, you will find tips that may help you at home if your student is having a hard time with this loss.

The days ahead will be difficult for our school, but I am confident our caring community will embrace all those that need it and help all of us move forward. I know your thoughts and prayers will be with the student’s family and our school during this difficult time.