Published Friday, April 13, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Updated Friday, April 13, 2018 | 6:55 a.m.
Five-year-old Aubrielle Stevenson shrinks her arms and hides her head on her grandmother’s stomach, shying away from a message she intended to give in front of a camera.
“Do you want me to say it for you?” asks Terrilyn Bowser, looking down on the little girl, who nods her head.
“Aubrielle wants to know, why did the man (have to) take her dad,” Bowser says.
It’s a question that’s been on the minds of Javerian Stevenson’s family and Metro Police investigators for four years. The 22-year-old became an “unintended victim” of gun violence after a man opened fire through a car’s front passenger window in the central valley to kill Stevenson, the father of three girls.
“The family that’s behind me right now,” said Metro Lt. Ray Spencer about the victim’s loved ones who on Thursday afternoon held white balloons outside Liberty Baptist Church, 6501 W. Lake Mead Blvd. “They want answers just as much as the community should demand answers for what happened out here four years ago.”
The remembrance rally was an effort to try to crack the case open by compelling the gunman to turn himself in, or for someone who may know something to speak up.
“We are close on this case,” Spencer said, noting that even a trivial detail may be the final puzzle piece detectives need to solve the shooting.
Stevenson was one of three passengers in a car at 10:15 p.m. on April 29, 2014, when they driver stopped the car to check on a tire near Washington Avenue and Tonopah Drive, according to an account given to police. That’s where the fatal rounds erupted.
No one else was injured, Spencer said, noting investigators don’t believe Stevenson was the target of the attack.
“We’ve been able to piece a lot of it together, but as far as who the actual shooter (only described as a black man) is, we need that information as well,” he said.
A teary Bowser, 57, remembered her son as a “very playful, very loving, very kind, just all around good person” who loved writing rap music, his job assisting mentally ill patients, but above all his family.
“He was just,” said Bowser, sighing, pausing and then crying. “He was just my everything, honestly. My son was just a good person and he didn’t deserve to die like that.”
“There isn’t a day that goes by and I don’t miss my son,” she said.
Bowser doesn’t feel hatred for the killer, but needs justice and closure, she said.
“Think about it,” she pleaded to anyone who might have information. “If it was your mother and you had a brother who was taken away from you guys, how would you feel? Would you want justice for him?”
Grieving is more tolerable as time passes, but “when I look at these babies and I see that their dad is not here, It’s hard. It’s a hard pill to swallow… to know that he’s not here to help raise his children like he did when he was here,” Bowser said
On Thursday, Stevenson’s family interacted with Metro Police and church representatives. Aubrielle recognized a photo of herself on posters created to provide police contact information. “That’s me right there,” she said.
“When they say, ‘let go,’ you have to let go, okay,” children were instructed. Then, a Metro lieutenant counted to three and the balloons were lifted by the breeze and disappeared in the sunny, blue sky.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro at 702-828-3521 or via email at [email protected] To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at crimestoppesrofnv.com.