A Philadelphia mother's pain: Life after her son was murdered

- A local mom is pleading to public for help in finding her son's killer.

Photojournalist Kenyatta Henderson has the story.

“Hakim was my son. He was 22 years old. He was my second born son. He was the darkest one of us all. That was my chocolate drop,” said Carmen Chadwick.  “He always joked around and asked me if he was adopted because he was darker than us. There is no doubt in my mind that he didn't love his family,” she said.

She recalls what he was doing before someone took his life.

“He was trying to start a clothing line called “Never Settle”,” she said.

It was December 21st  around 7o'clock when she got the devastating call.

“I was at work. It was a normal Monday. I had to go to work early. I worked at UPS. It was peak season so I was working a lot of overtime. But for me I don't know what it was but I was not feeling right at work,” said Carmen.  She remembers having a terrible headache.  “A headache like I never had before and I kept telling my supervisor I wasn't going to stay my whole shift,” she recalls.    Carmen says around 8 o’clock she was told there was a family emergency.  She says all she was told was to get to the hospital. 

“Everything was going through my mind.  I wasn't trying to believe that is was anything that serious. I knew it was something bad for them to come and get me but I was just praying that everything is going to be ok.” But Carmen says when she found out she was devastated and still is to this day.

“I want justice for my son. He didn't deserve this. He was walking his dog when he was shot to death. I couldn’t even Identify him.  I went but I was not able to do it. I just couldn’t,” said the heartbroken mother.  

“I never in a million years would've thought this would have happened to me but what makes me different?  A parent should never feel the way I feel.  I would never on my worst enemy wish this feeling even for the person that did it. I wouldn't want their family to go through this,” she said. 

Carmen says almost a year later she is still feeling hurt, angry, confused and lost. 

“But I still wouldn’t wish this pain on the mother of the whoever did this. I wouldn’t want her to feel the same way I feel. I just want justice but I wouldn't want his mother to feel the type of pain that I feel. I’m trying to get past that day but I can't get pass that day it happened,” she said.

Carmen says she can’t imagine what somebody could do to make someone want to take their life.  “You are destroying families forever,” she said.

Carmen says all she knows from police is that son Hakim was walking his dog. She said she hasn’t heard from detectives since the day he was murdered. She says the name of her son’s clothing line “Never Settle” has become her motto is getting answers regarding his murder.  “Never will I settle till I seek justice for my son,” she said. 

Today, Carmen says she finds strength in her faith in God but she says she is scared for her other boys to be outside now.  And she can’t believe no one has spoken up about what happened.

“For a place he loved so much. He loved his neighborhood so much and nobody in the neighborhood has anything to say. The neighborhood he loved is the neighborhood that killed him,” she cried.



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