WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — LaDawn Morgan’s would have turned 24 this past Sunday.
However, instead of celebrating with LaDawn, her family and friends spent the day cleaning up a road that’s been adopted in her honor – the same road where she was killed – Rich Avenue in Winston-Salem.
On March 27, 2017, the then 19-year-old was sitting on her friend’s porch at 903 Rich Avenue when someone drove by and started firing shortly before 2 p.m.
LaDawn, who police described as an innocent bystander, was shot before being taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“You kind of know what’s coming. You’re saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’” said her uncle, Michael Warren, in the months after the shooting. “They were saying her blood pressure dropped, and they had started CPR on her, and I don’t remember anything after that.”
LaDawn died that day. Police say she was in the wrong place at the wrong time during a dispute between two groups who were exchanging gunfire.
Two years after her death, Warren and LaDawn’s mother – April Warren Morgan – sat down with FOX8 once more. Her murder still had not been solved.
‘We just don`t want to be in that situation where you guys are back three years from now, and we`re saying, ‘it`s been three years, five years, no new leads,’” Warren said.
Four-and-a-half years after her death, with no new information, that five-year anniversary is rapidly approaching.
“I can’t really describe how awful it is,” April said. “I have this constant sick feeling, and I’ve had it for four-and-a-half years.”
Today, police say they still need witnesses who were present that day to come forward and help them determine who was involved.
But some things are undeniable. For example, whoever fired the shot which killed LaDawn created a whole new set of triggers for her family.
“The triggers are probably the worst,” April explained, citing sights, sounds and smells that bring her right back to the day her daughter was killed.
Even the days which should be happy remain overshadowed by the void LaDawn left behind.
“Her sister just recently got engaged, and that was a pretty hard day because she wasn’t here,” her mother said through tears.
At a time where shooters and victims are years younger than LaDawn was, her family is sharing a message for teens turning to gunplay.
“Both sides are suffering. And will. It’s no way to settle anything,” April said. “It only brings pain.”
LaDawn’s family continues to plead for answers in her death all while trying to keep her memory alive.
“It’s not easy because there’s a sadness that comes with that,” April said. “But…Ladawn will always be with us.”
Anyone with information about LaDawn’s murder – or any unsolved homicide in Winston-Salem – is asked to contact the following agencies by phone:
- Crimestoppers en Español: 336-728-3904 (Podría ser elegible por una recompensa)
- Crimestoppers: 336-727-2800 (You could be eligible for a cash reward)
- Winston-Salem Police Department Homicide Unit Lieutenant: 336-773-7724
- Winston-Salem Police Department Homicide Unit Sergeant: 336-773-7717