Family, friends gather in memory of slain Winston-Salem 20-year-old

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A 20-year-old shot and killed hundreds of feet away from his mother’s Winston-Salem home was remembered by friends and family during two separate vigils Tuesday.

“They [were] like, 'Something happened, your house is roped off,'” said Tasha Jarrett, the victim’s cousin.

Police say Leon Conrad Jr. was shot in the neck around 5:30 p.m. Monday on Richard Allen Lane Northwest. He died at the scene.

“When they told me it was Leon, I just, I still don’t believe it,” Jarrett said.

Large groups of family and friends gathered as police gathered evidence and scoured the area for witness statements.

“Just stop, just stop, I mean, the biggest question is why,” Jarrett asked, less than 24 hours later.

Although Conrad was known for his upbeat personality and beaming smile, his life was not one without tragedy. Almost exactly 10 years before his murder, his father was killed in a similar fashion.

“I can’t sleep, every time I close my eyes all I can see is his smiling face,” said Alice Conrad, in an interview with FOX8 in the days following Leon Conrad Sr.’s death.

Police said Conrad Sr. was killed at his home on Myrtle Avenue on Nov. 9, 2007.

“They stole my son’s life, they stole his children’s’ life,” Alice Conrad said in the 2007 FOX8 interview.

On Monday, shortly before his death, Jarrett says Conrad Jr. made a post about his father on his Facebook page.

“His last post on his Facebook page was like at 4:46, or 4:48, where he was thinking of his father at that time, not knowing in less than 20, 25 minutes, he was going to join him,” she said.

Tuesday morning, family members returned to the spot where Conrad Jr. was killed to find that his blood was in the shape of a heart.

“He’s OK,” Jarrett said. “He’s leaving us his love.”

Jarrett added that Conrad Jr.’s legacy will be one which leaves his peers and family members striving to do better.

“Even the younger kids, he would make sure that they was going to school, or he would tell them, ‘If you don’t have a way to school come knock on my door,’” Jarrett said, of how Conrad Jr. lived his life. “If they weren’t doing what they were supposed to, he would tell them, ‘You ain’t got nothing to say to me, go do your homework, then we can go play basketball or hang out.’”

A second man, 20-year-old Rechard Sylvester Hall, was also shot Monday evening. Police say he was hit in the shoulder area, brought to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and later released.

Police returned to the neighborhood Tuesday afternoon to once again canvass for answers, but to no avail. They say they have no suspects at this time.

“He’s with his father,” Jarrett said, of Conrad Jr. “He’s OK.”