Hannah Michelle Bussa
Every day since Kenneth Jones’ tragic death on Nov. 19, his loved ones have missed the funny, protective family man they knew.
“His death has changed a lot of things,” Shan’e Perkins, Jones’ sister, said.
On that fateful evening, Jones was shot outside of his mother’s house by police.
“Every time I open my door… [I know] it happened right there,” Christina Wilson, Jones’ mother, said. “When I see that photo [that was released] of him looking out of the window, I wonder if he was looking to see if we could see him.”
Prior to the shooting, Jones had been recovering from an accident.
“He had surgery on his knee in October,” Wilson said. “He was still limping and wore a brace… It was hard for him to move.”
Following this accident, Jones was fighting to recover and start a new career.
“He was about to start barber school,” Wilson said. “He cut hair really well. He’d just gotten his chair and clippers… He had a job waiting for him.”
Jones’ death came just one week after the family had lost a loved one to coronavirus – and right before the holiday season.
“During the holidays, it was sad, but we tried to have happy times even though we had the emotions of missing him,” Wilson said. “He’d want us to try to be happy.”
“One moment we were laughing at memories of him, and the next we were crying at missing him,” Perkins explained.
In a year focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, Jones’ family explained how surreal it was to lose Jones.
“You know it’s happened to other people, but for it to touch home, it changes your perspective,” Perkins said. “It’s devastating. It’s still unbelievable that it happened in this way.”
Wilson always reminds her other sons to take precautions. “I give them a hug and say, ‘be careful out there,’” she said.
“But it means so much more now,” Perkins added.
And though the family appreciates the support from the community, especially from ProBLAC, this can’t change how much they miss Jones.
The entire Jones family was close and would often spend weekends together. Jones had three children of his own.
“I’ve [kept] my kids close to me,” Wilson said. “And he loved his kids [too]… and he would [always] look at his nieces and nephews and just smile.”
“He was my older brother, but he was the baby of the family,” Perkins said. “He was very spoiled, but silly.”
“He was really funny to be around,” Wilson said. “He was always doing something… pranking you. He’d love to pinch you and joke around. You had no choice but to love him.”
“His laugh made you laugh,” Perkins said. “And he was very into dressing up. He had to be fresh from his hair to his feet… if it wasn’t [his favorite] belt, it was his earrings, or his ring.”
Wilson now talks to his urn and his photograph. “But it’s not him,” she said. “It just makes you angry… That was my baby.”
As a mother, Wilson wakes up every day and has to remember.
“[We’ve been] missing him so much and how happy he was,” Wilson said. “It hit us hard, and it’s going to hit us for the rest of our lives.”