Mom reacts with anguish and anger
The 17-year-old was fondly remembered by his friends and family.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Zymond T. Bellard's mother's tears mixed with anger as she talked about the teenager's shooting death.
"They'll just label him another statistic," Gwendolyn Bellard said, wiping her eyes with tissue, one of many she used since hearing the news of her son's death Wednesday evening. "My older son DaShawn [Harmon] paged me. When I called, he said, 'Mom, Boo got shot.'"
Bellard, 47, of Magnolia Avenue, then waved her hand to take in the roomful of family and friends at her daughter's Eastway Drive apartment Thursday. She looked at each of them before she spoke.
"None of us understand why," she said, shaking her head. "He was with his girlfriend, his baby's mama, there was no argument."
The 20-year-old girlfriend, seven months pregnant, told police that she was hanging out with Zymond and a female friend called Chi Chi at 930 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Apartment 39, and they were smoking marijuana. Two men, known to Chi Chi, arrived, hung out for a while to watch a Britney Spears movie, then left, with one returning and shooting Zymond around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Thursday afternoon, police arrested Robert Parker, 24, of Youngstown and charged him with murder. Gwendolyn Bellard said Parker is Chi Chi's boyfriend.
Gwendolyn Bellard said she learned that Parker shot her son over "dumb s---" after telling Zymond to quit playing with a gun. The .40-caliber gun was found on the couch next to Zymond's head.
"They shot my little brother in the chest and he shot back," said DaShawn Harmon, 24. "He was a good brother, played football every year, he was just living his life. I don't know if a confrontation jumped off or what."
Zymond's mother said her son played for the North Side Knights until he was 14. He had attended The Rayen School but didn't finish, she said.
Gwendolyn Bellard said she is a single parent who raised seven children -- Zymond, DaShawn Harmon, Derrick Harmon, Fabian Clark, Marquia Jarmon, Tamakia Bellard and Sunshine Bell. Zymond also leaves a stepbrother, Marcus Clark.
Fabian Clark, 11, played a video game as his mother talked to The Vindicator. She said he was doing as well as could be expected.
The grieving mother said she's always worked and always provided Zymond with whatever he wanted. Yeah, he was spoiled, "big time," she said.
"Zymond didn't even frequent the North Side," Gwendolyn Bellard said. "He was only in that apartment because of his baby's mama."
Loraine McKinnon, a family friend, described Zymond as a "sweetheart" and said everybody loved him. McKinnon was among those who gathered Thursday to comfort Gwendolyn Bellard.