Mother of slain Suffolk man says she forgives alleged killers

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The mother of a slain Suffolk man told 10 On Your Side that she is clinging to her faith and choosing to forgive her son’s alleged killers.

“God said we have to forgive others,” Johnnella Hunter said. “I forgive them and I just pray and ask God to mend their hearts, mend their minds. We have to learn how to change our ways because the violence has to stop.”

Aaron Hunter, 23, was fatally shot last Friday while visiting the Wilson Pines Apartments. Over the weekend, investigators arrested a 17-year-old boy and 19-year-old Mandocous Rivers.

Johnnella said she doesn’t know either teenager and doesn’t know why they allegedly killed Aaron.

“I hate that this had to happen to him, but God knows best,” she said. “When I got the call on that night, I felt my son’s spirit leave my body, it was like a cold feeling. I will never forget it.”

She describes Aaron as a lovable young man who enjoyed dancing and playing the drums.

“He would brighten a room that’s dark and gloomy… once you got to know him, you’d be fond of him and you will always keep him in your heart because he’s a very special, lovable person that you will always cherish.”

Johnnella, an aspiring minister and teacher’s aide, said that she is thankful for the support she’s received from loved ones.

Her home, where she spoke with 10 On Your Side, is full of handmade sympathy cards from her elementary school students.

The family is preparing for Aaron’s funeral, scheduled for noon on Saturday at the New Mt. Joy FFLM Church in Suffolk. An online fundraiser has been set up to help pay for the expenses.

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