24-year-old National Guard member shot, killed due to mistaken identity, family says
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - Police are investigating a deadly shooting in New Orleans that took the life of a National Guard member.
Family members said Raymond Hill III, 24, was shot and killed while he was out on a quick DoorDash delivery and getting supplies for a family barbecue.
“That’s my baby’s heartbeat. That’s all I got,” Kendra Washington said while playing a recording of her son’s heartbeat. “I heard his heartbeat when he came into this world, and I was able to hear it on his way out of here.”
WVUE reports Washington had to do the unthinkable on Tuesday and take her son off life support 11 days after his 24th birthday.
“His brother, his sisters are hurting. You [the shooter] tore my family up,” his father, Raymond Hill II, said. “Please come forward and turn yourself in, or somebody say something.”
Washington said police found 50 shell casings at the intersection where the shooting occurred. She said they believe it may have been a case of mistaken identity because a car with a description similar to his had been reported stolen that morning.
“I know when this happened to him, he was terrified because he didn’t know why and who was doing it,” Washington said.
The National Guard member was shot four times, but his family said he was a fighter.
Washington said her son felt a strong sense of duty and was waiting for his orders from the National Guard. He was respectful, funny, and loved life and his family.
“If you think about a rainy day and the sun pops out on a rainy day, that’s him. They took my sunshine,” Washington said. “My son was just loveable to everybody.”
Washington said she was worried about his safety with his National Guard work but should have been concerned about what was happening in the city.
“I was more worried about his work at the border and overseas. I was supposed to be worried about what was going on here,” Washington said.
The family is also asking for the public’s help in identifying the shooter.
“I know you’re scared; I just need you to put yourself in our shoes and understand what we’re going through,” Washington said. “Turn around, look at your good child, and imagine if this was your child. Wouldn’t you want answers? Wouldn’t you want someone to help you?”
The 24-year-old’s family said they wouldn’t rest until his killer is caught.
“You [the shooter] took a piece of my heart from me that I’ll never get back,” Washington said. “All I can do is watch videos and listen to his heartbeat.”
The family held a balloon release in Raymond Hill III’s memory on Thursday.
Copyright 2022 WVUE via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.