Teen shot to death after meeting up to sell shoes from Instagram

The shoes were listed for sale on Instagram.

HAMPTON, Ga. -- A family is mourning the death of their son after he was shot and killed on Monday.  

When police arrived, they found Jayden Parks, 18, shot on the side of the road.

Hampton Police Chief Derrick Austin said Parks was shot several times and was taken to Piedmont Henry Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Austin said several people called 911, including the shooter. 

"We had several calls from 911. We did have a second call come in from a person who said he was involved in the incident, gave us his location," he said. "Officers located him, conducted a traffic stop and he is cooperating with the investigation." 

He told police he came to meet Parks to purchase a pair of shoes listed on Instagram.  That's when a confrontation ensued. Parks posted a photo of a special edition of "Jordan 1" shoes on his Instagram page.

While Chief Austin would not get into specifics of what the shooter said, police sources told 11Alive news that the 911 caller told police it was self-defense. 

The shooting victim's father, Johnny Parks, said he also heard gunshots that night.

"I told my wife to call my son. He didn't answer, so I put on my clothes and I went looking for him," the father said. "After about 10 minutes, I found him. I seen the shoes on the ground and made my way to the ambulance." 

Parks said he doesn't know much more about what happened that night. He also said he didn't believe his son attacked the man who shot him. 

"I don't believe it was self-defense," he said. "I don't know my son to carry no weapon and nothing like that - he was just a young man, outgoing, had big plans in life." 

He described his son as an entrepreneur.

"He was very respectful. He had a lot of ambition. He had a thing about being his own entrepreneur," Parks said of his son. "He drove the ice cream truck, he sold glasses, he was just his own person. He was Jayden." 

Police are still investigating and have obtained search warrants for the cell phones of both parties and the vehicle that the shooter drove. An autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner's office is also scheduled for Thursday morning.  

"We should know a lot after we process the car and the cell phones," Chief Austin said. 

In the midst of the investigation, Austin is urging people to be safe when making online transactions. 

"If you're going to buy something off-line you need to meet in a safe location," the chief said. "We have one here in our parking lot there's a 24-hour video surveillance - it's lit. I mean, if you're going to do these kinds of transactions, they need to be in a safe location." 

He said these transactions are risky but there are safe ways to minimize the risk. 

"You're taking a big chance," he said. "Always have other people with you but I still think that, if you're going to do it, you need to go somewhere where there's other witnesses around or it's somewhere where there's video to protect yourself." 

The family of Jayden Parks is now just waiting for answers. 

"If you got a child, man, love your child," Johnny Parks said. "I ain't mad. I ain't angry. I put it in God's hands. Let God do his job and let investigators do theirs, man. Justice will prevail at the end of the day." 

A candlelight vigil is being set up for Jayden for Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Hampton baseball park on W. Main Street in Hampton, Georgia.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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