A Stockton family is asking for the public’s help to identify who killed 17-year-old Ceasar Chavez High School student Juwan Small in December.
Small was shot to death while riding his bike to a friend’s house near the intersection of East Swain Road and Lorraine Avenue in Stockton on December 14.
Although the shooting happened at a busy intersection at 4 p.m., no witnesses have come forward.
“It didn’t look like, you know, you jump off your bike or threw the backpack. The backpack was leaned up against the fence neatly. The bike was set up. He knew who he was talking to. He knew who he was meeting with. Whoever did this knew Juwan,” Juwan’s mother, Jessica Sewell, said.
Sewell told FOX40 her son had lots of plans he will never be able to follow through with. He was a varsity football player at Ceasar Chavez High School where he was also a member of an academic achievement program. He was one class away from graduating and had already planned to start an internship at a barbershop while he started up a clothing line.
“While he’s dying on the street, I’m at Walmart buying his birthday card. Of all things. Like, I could have been home, but I’m looking for the perfect card for him,” Sewell said.
Small was killed the day before his 18th birthday.
Since Small had no known enemies, his family has been trying to figure out why someone would want him dead. She said she always worried when he went out with nice things.
“Everyone who knew Juwan knew that he had two pairs of shoes on him at all times. One pair on his feet that he walked in. And one pair in his backpack. His Jordans,” Sewell said.
Sewell said her son had a pair of Jordans in his backback when he was killed, but none of his personal property was stolen.
“You always have to worry, am I giving my child too much? But then it’s like, why should I have to penalize my child because of people?” Sewell said.
She said she fears that whoever killed him, could have done so out of jealousy.
“My favorite thing about him was that he always used to dance with me,” said Small’s little sister Javonna Sewell.
Small leaves behind two younger siblings who miss him very much. All of his family and close friends say he was a good kid, who didn’t run around in the streets or hang out with a bad crowd.
Over the holidays, they have been busy planning Juwan’s funeral.
“Just putting his name on things making sure that people remember who he is. Don’t forget him….he didn’t deserve this,” Sewell said.
If you know anything about Juwan Small’s murder, or happened to pass through the area of East Swain Road and Lorraine Avenue on December 14, call Stockton Police at (209) 937-8377 or the Crime Stoppers tip line at (209) 946-0600.
The Crime Stoppers tip line is always anonymous and pays cash rewards of up to $10,000.
Citizens may also text information from their cell phones to ‘Crimes’ (274637) and type the keyword TIPSPD and then their tip or logon to the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page and click ‘Submit A Tip.’ Tipsters may also send tips on the Stockton PD Mobile Phone App. Tipsters can remain anonymous.