Overview of LaTevin Bankston
"I think everybody knows a parent is never supposed to bury their children." Those are the words coming from LaTonya Oby, a mother whose heart has been ripped apart by the death of her firstborn son, LaTevin Charles "Tevin" Bankston. He was only 20 years old at the time of his murder.
It was Friday, 04/22/2011, a little before 10 pm when LaTonya was on the phone talking to her son Tevin as she and his younger brother headed home for the evening. Tevin had just gotten off work and was also on his way home. She told him they would all be home soon, and she would see him when she got there, but he never made it home. When they got close to their neighborhood, they heard what they thought was a tire blowing out. But what they really heard was gunshots and a lot of them. LaTonya and her son passed Fuel Zone on their way home and didn't realize anything was happening at that store that involved Tevin. He and 2 friends stopped by Fuel Zone and were seen talking to an unidentified black female who was already inside the store. As she left the store, she got into a blue vehicle with a black male inside. As the 3 friends exited the store and got into their car, the male inside the blue vehicle opened fire on them with a high-powered rifle, striking Tevin in the head. Then the shooter and the unknown female fled the scene.
Tevin's two friends were not hit and were able to drive him to Our Lady of the Lake hospital, but he was in grave condition. That's when LaTonya, Tevin's mother, got the phone call that no parent ever wants to receive. She and her family arrived at the hospital a short time later. The doctors explained that there was no brain activity and she would have to make a horrible decision. "The hardest decision I've ever made in my life was to remove him from the machines," LaTonya explained. And so it was that Tevin was taken off life support and pronounced dead at 1:47 pm the following day, Saturday, 04/23/2011.
The next day, on Sunday, 04/24/2011, authorities released an image from a surveillance camera of the female who walked into the store late Friday night before the shooting in the parking lot. The BRPD is requesting help from the public in hopes of identifying her. Detective Trey Landry with the BRPD later stated that he knows witnesses are out there. He counted at least 5 to 7 people inside the store and more people in the parking lot outside the store, yet no one was talking. This case is still open.
Tevin's mother, LaTonya, had a message for all the people on the scene that evening but refused to come forward; she said, ""I want them to know they could get the same phone call I got. I want them to know they may have to make the same decisions I made."