Marie Merritt had a message for the suspect: "You need to rot in jail."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Marie Merritt says her son Lashyd was a good kid who loved his job, his girlfriend and nieces and nephews.
"You didn't have to ask him to get anything for Christmas. This man would just have it. (The kids) would say 'Shyd! Shyd! Shyd!' They are going to miss all of that," Marie told Action News on Tuesday, just hours after her 22-year-old son was gunned down the night before during a mass shooting in Philadelphia.
Lashyd Merritt was one of five people who were killed. Two others, children ages 2 and 13, were wounded by gunfire. Another 2-year-old and a 33-year-old woman were injured by flying glass.
Marie says her son was just doing something he normally does - going out for a snack during a break from work. She says he works from home on the 5500 block of Greenway Avenue, and would go to the corner store and then run back home.
"We didn't know he left. My nephew ran upstairs. We kept calling his phone. It tracked to the store," Marie said.
After the gunfire erupted on the street, victims started being discovered.
"It turned out to be my son," Marie said.
"For a person who's not out here in these streets, just going to get a snack - it breaks my heart," she added.
Marie says Lashyd, the youngest of five siblings, was happy. She said he had the perfect job that he loved and the family was waiting for him to marry his girlfriend.
"All the stuff that goes on in Philadelphia. He wasn't a part of that. The violence, he wasn't part of that," Marie said. "So young and so bright."
The shooting took place on July 3 at 8:30 p.m. in the area of 56th Street and Chester Avenue in the Kingsessing section of Southwest Philadelphia.
The suspect, identified by police as 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker, lives in the 5600 block of Belmar Terrace, just a few blocks from the shooting scene.
Police say the suspect, who was taken into custody shortly after the shooting, was wearing a bulletproof vest and was carrying multiple magazines, a police scanner, an AR-style rifle and a handgun.
"I don't understand why people just - whatever anger they have within themselves - I don't understand why someone in the neighborhood would have that type of stuff, like guns - I don't understand that. And you're just taking good people away," Marie said.
Marie didn't have too many words to say about the suspect, but she made her message clear.
"You took my son. You took my baby...My message to him - you didn't have to do what you did. Whatever thoughts, whatever was going on in your head, you should've gotten help. You should leave people alone and get some help," she said.
Marie continued, "I'm going to be honest, you need to rot. You need to rot in jail. You need to because that was wrong. He needs to pay."
Along with Lashyd, police released the names of the four others who were killed in the mass shooting: Daujan Brown, 15/M, unknown residence; Dymir Stanton, 29, from the 1700 block of S. Frazier St.; Joseph Wamah, Jr., 31, from the 1600 block of S. 56th St.; Ralph Moralis, 59, from the 1700 block of S. 56th St.
"I feel sorry for their families because they don't deserve that. Some maniac walking around just shooting, shooting, shooting. For what?" Marie said.
Marie says she knows Lashyd is not resting in peace.
"(My heart) is broken. I feel him saying, 'Why me? Why me? Why me?' I lied in the bed and I saw his face and he said, 'Mom, what happened? What about my girl? What about you? Mom, what happened?'" Marie said.
But Marie says Lashyd - her 22-year-old son, the good kid who just went out for a snack but never returned home - knew how much he was loved.
"I'm here. I love you. I miss you. He was my prize. He was my number one prize and he knows that. I miss him so much and I love you," Marie said.