Sunday would have been Layton Ridgedell’s 19th birthday. Instead of celebrating, his family is mourning his loss.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — On a day a family should be celebrating their son and brother’s 19th birthday, they are instead mourning and demanding justice for the loss of Layton Ridgedell.
Ridgedell was one of two people who was shot and killed in the Albany Crossing Park neighborhood just two weeks ago.
“He was my helper. Every time I texted him, I would say ‘Layton, I need the trash taken out, and I need the dishes done.’ And he would text him back, ‘Say no more Mom. It’s done.’ I mean, he wasn’t some thug kid who was constantly in trouble,” said Layton’s mother, Shawna Bobst.
Bobst is a single mother with five children, and a pediatric nurse who also runs her own business. She said Layton was not what some people online are making him out to be.
“I never saw any of this coming. We live in a nice neighborhood. Leeton was such a good kid. Everyone loved him. I don’t know how he ended up going down that path. I really don’t know. It’s just not how he was raised,” she said.
Police say 15-year-old Terrell Hicks-Freeman and 16-year-old Baron Anderson are wanted on murder charges in the deaths of Ridgedell and Mahky Andrews.
Bobst recalled the exact moment she received the call that changed her life forever.
“I never imagined that it would have been my own child. Like, I just talked to him that night. I sent him money to Uber home. And the whole time, I guess he was here. So I don’t even remember anything after that point. Like I just completely went into shock. And I just screamed and cried. And it’s almost like it’s still not even real,” Bobst said.
Bobst said her son was slain just one hundred yards away from her home.
The Columbus Police Homicide Unit confirm the incident was not related to gangs or drugs and confirm the two suspects were trying to rob Layton.
“So the crazy horrible thing is, is that all of these kids are young. They’re 15. They’re 16 years old. They’re children. But they all have guns,” said Bobst.
Bobst confirmed Layton never owned weapons, was not in a gang or even left the city schools due to the violence and weapons he saw.
“Layton kept asking me to take a concealed carry weapons class. He wasn’t old enough to have a gun, though. But he kept telling me every day he would come in and say, ‘Mom, this is number 32. This is number 33. There’s so many homicides’,” she said.
Bobst is begging the community and police to find the suspects and wants them tried as adults.
“If they’re trying them as juveniles, they get less of a sentence, they almost get a slap on the hand. And I just think that needs to stop. Because it’s so easy for 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds to go out and kill somebody,” said Bobst.
She warned parents to pay extra attention to friend groups and to vet their children’s social media.
“You just have to make sure you see all your kids’ social media know their friends,” Bobst said. “These kids are going around just killing each other, and then leaving and not thinking of not thinking anything of it.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Columbus Police Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730.
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