While Toledo police were telling Bonnie Larkins her son, Jonathon Booker, was suspected in a homicide early Sunday, she was begging him to come in for questioning.
The 24-year-old Booker phoned her after two people were shot - one fatally - near Ottawa Park Saturday evening. Witnesses told police Booker was the shooter and they issued a warrant.
“Just come talk to us,” Mrs. Larkins told her son on the phone early Sunday. “I begged him to come home.”
But her son, known to family and friends as “Jon Jon,” told her he didn't want to go back to prison. He had served a sentence for obstruction of justice.
Before Booker would return to his mother's Birckhead Place home or police would find him, he was shot twice and died in the 1300 block of Thatcher Drive.
Police last night were looking for Prentiss Williams, 23, of no known address, a second suspect in the earlier shootings. They have not said if he is a suspect in Booker's death.
Williams was released from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility on parole in April after serving time for felonious assault and receiving stolen property.
The saga began about 7:40 p.m. Saturday when Carmita Dickey, 30, of 1316 Goodale Ave. was shot and killed in her car. Damion Davis, 28, of 360 Rockingham Ave. was with her.
He was shot multiple times and taken to Toledo Hospital. His condition was not available last night.
Hours later, police issued the warrant for Booker. They found him with two gunshot wounds on a porch in the 1300 block of Thatcher. Police said he was shot a block away at 3:54 a.m. Sunday.
Booker was pronounced dead about 4:16 a.m.
“There obviously could be a connection. We're not sure,” Detective Vince Mauro said.
Family members and friends visited Mrs. Larkins Sunday and yesterday. A pastor at Greater Faith Gospel Center, 4933 Lewis Ave., said she has cared for two of her grandchildren since their mother, Jamilia Smith, was killed by gunfire in 1996.
Booker's death means two more of her grandchildren - a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy - have lost a parent to gunfire.
Mrs. Larkins said she never felt as close to Jamilia and Jonathon as she did her other five children. “I know why now. God was planning to take them at an early age,” she said.
Booker, who attended Glenwood Elementary and Woodward High School, had a knack for finding the wrong crowd. “Even though he wasn't the baby, I babied him,” she said.
Mrs. Larkins last saw her son Saturday afternoon when he left her home with Williams. She invited them to go to church with her.
“I prayed that they'd be on the right path,” she said.