RICHMOND, Va. -- Felicia Grissom says she told her son on many occasions to stay off the streets. However, she said that the 29-year-old father of five, Dontae Grissom, gravitated to what his mom calls a harsh reality.
She says a dangerous mix of stolen guns and drugs turned out to be too tempting for her son.
"I’ve been trying to get him on the right path,” Felicia Grissom said. “He's not perfect, but they didn't have to shoot him down like a dog like that."
His mother says a troubled past caught him in real-time on Rogers Street in the city's East End Tuesday
Police say Grissom was shot multiple times and was died at VCU Medical Center.
“Everything that was out there to get money,” said Felicia Grissom. “That's what he was doing, breaking into cars and stuff for a while, but he didn't deserve to get shot. It could've gone another way. I mean last week he was pistol-whipped. It was just an ongoing problem happening over and over."
She believes other moms can learn from her story. She is candid about begging her son to turn his life around and to be a better example for his two sisters, one of whom is in kindergarten.
“She knows he's gone, and asked if he was dead," said Felicia Grissom said.
The other is an adult who says she spoke with Dontae as recently as Sunday about changing his life.
"I told him ‘you know what you're doing out here only ends in two places: jail or dead,’” said Brianna Scott. “You can't walk around disrespecting or staying with people and disrespecting them. Our last words were I love you."
Dontae Grissom would have turned 30 next week.