TAMPA, Fla. — A family is now forced to deal with an unthinkable pain as they mourn their youngest son and sibling.
Tavares Demeico Benjamin Jr., 'TJ', was just 21 years old when his life was taken on Memorial Day afternoon. Speaking exclusively to 10 Tampa Bay's Angelina Salcedo, his mother says her baby boy was taken senselessly.
"He always had a big heart, always made sure everyone was taken care of," Michele Mosley said. "He just wanted so bad to just make everything was better."
TJ was her loving and goofy baby. He was the youngest of 5 siblings. For Mosley, finding out about his death was a shock, but finding out who shot him and what happened was even worse.
"All he wanted to do get a pair of shorts to go swim at this AirBnb because his friend graduated," the mother said. "His friend that was with him said he even got out of the car and gave his dad a hug, then it was like, 'Where's my money?' and he pushed him off."
That afternoon, Mosley knew he was going to his father's home on North 20th Street in Tampa before heading to his friend's graduation celebration. When he got there, she received a video from him that showed an argument between TJ and his dad.
Tavares Demeico Benjamin told his son and friend "neither one of you are giving me anything, so get your punk a-- out," and is seen yelling from the bottom of the stairs. Twenty minutes later things took a turn.
"Apparently they got into an argument and his dad was mad because he wanted $25," Mosley said. "I get that video and then 20 minutes later his dad called and left me a message on the phone."
Mosley played the message during the interview. You can hear Benjamin yelling, "Michele you need to come, I just shot TJ. I don't know if he's dead or not, but I just shot him and I don't give a f---."
The friend who was with TJ at the time took a picture of him on the ground being treated by Hillsborough County Deputies minutes after TJ tried to run to get help.
"I thought it was crazy. I thought it was some kind of sick joke," Mosley said. "I couldn't believe it. I still don't believe it."
Now she wants answers after being left hurt and confused. She says she doesn't understand how a parent can do that to their own child.
"You're the adult," she said. "What the heck did he do that was so bad? He is always a happy go lucky kid with a huge heart. He would always say, 'You know pop's ain't going to hurt me, he's just crazy.' I never thought this would happen. He was never in fear of him."
TJ died at the hospital after doctors say the bullet went in through his shoulder, into his chest. Surgery couldn't save him.
"Justice? Well he's in a much better place, I know he's saved. I know he's with the Lord," Mosley said. "I just hope his dad gets what he deserves because this is so unfair."
Her loving boy gone in minutes, she just wants to know why.
"You worry about your kid on the street or any time they leave the house or whatever, you would never think their own parent would do that," Mosley said.
Records show TJ's dad, Tavares Demeico Benjamin, is being held on a $50,000 bond and is currently charged with felon in possession of a firearm. Right now, he is not charged in TJ's death.
While the sheriff's office continues investigating, TJ's family is looking to have a service for him on June 24. If you'd like to support them, you can here.