ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A troubled teenager in Missouri who posted photos of himself on social media holding stacks of money and making gang signs, and who had just posted on Saturday that he was glad he had made it to 17, was tragically killed about an hour later in broad daylight.
“Thru all the [expletive] I den been thru I’m just glad I can say I made it to see 17 #MYDAY #FREEGANG,” posted Armond Latimore.
After making the post, Latimore went to Bing Lau Chop Suey, a Chinese restaurant in St. Louis, to pick up take out, reports Heavy.com. His mother had also gone out to get ice cream to accompany his birthday cake.
While she was away, she received a phone call that her son had been shot. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Latimore was reportedly standing outside the restaurant when the shooting occured.
An arrest has not yet been made and a motive is not known.
Reports note that Latimore had posted numerous photographs online in which he flashed stacks of money, writing remarks such as “Pray. Stack. Repeat,” “Lately I been in my bag,” “#RunItUpGang” and “And it still free da gang.” His profile picture was of a rapper kneeling by a bed covered in cash.
At least one photograph showed a pistol in Latimore’s waistband, and was captioned, “The devil want my soul. #InGodITrust.” In other photographs, Latimore made gang symbols or gave the camera the middle finger. Posts were often laden with profanity.
On Independence Day, he shared a photograph of himself with a stack of money in his pocket, writing, “An i still ain dead yet!! #Happy4thOfJuly” Another post from Aug. 7 contained the hashtag “#WannaJoinBandGanGshootYoselfInTheHead.”
Latimore also shared music videos from hip-hop and rap artists such as Teezie Bandz, Kdizzle and Jugg, as well as at least two videos of street fights, but also posted remarks such as “Lord, I need your favor” and “No matter how big your house is, how recent your car is, how big your bank account is, our graves will be the same size! #stayhumble.”
Latimore’s mother, Chandra Payne, told reporters that some saddened by Latimore’s death have pointed out that his Facebook contained concerning content. According to the New York Post, Payne says that the cash did not belong to her son and he never owned a weapon.
He said her son was a good boy.
“He was always a helping-hand child. He would cut grass, wash your car or sell water. He loved music and loved money, and always made it the right way,” Payne stated.
A number of comments have been posted to Latimore’s Facebook page, both those expressing heartfelt condolences and those concerned about the apparent gang lifestyle that Latimore portrayed on his public profile.
“Another young life gone. What a shame,” one comment read.
“They worship the thug life,” another stated.
“This is really sad, man. This hurts my heart. Please stop killing our black men,” a third mourned.
“Praying [the] evildoer(s) will be found soon! You didn’t give life; don’t have right to end life. Only God has the right, and you’re not Him!” another lamented.
According to Fox2Now News, there have been 114 homicides in St. Louis in 2018.