Cullen City Council plans to memorialize local teen who was fatally shot in 2017


CULLEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Three and a half years later, and the talk on how Jaylen Thomas will be remembered throughout his community still continues as Cullen City council negotiates to remember the teen.

Thomas’s mother, Danicka Thomas, introduced the idea to the previous city council but was denied. She said with new leadership, she hopes this time around will be different.

Monday Jaylen’s second accused killer, Keshawn Johnson, pleads guilty. The other suspect serving a life sentence.

Jaylen’s mother said this situation has changed her family’s lives forever but she can rest now knowing his killers are behind bars.

“He was a great kid. He touched a lot of people in this area and in this neighborhood. His memory needs to be known and we want to be able to have something in place that in a sense gives you a sense of who this person was,” Danicka Thomas said.

Monday during the Cullen city council meeting his mother read a letter out loud in front of the councilman, telling them why she felt the dedication was needed for Jaylen and the community.

Mayor Pro Tem, Floyden White, said she agrees with the idea and remembers Jaylen and his family growing up.

“I believe it is well worth it and I think it’s most deserving for Jaylen. It’s a new council and I think that is what we are all about, trying to bring about progress and new ideas and events,” she said.

Danicka said although justice has been served she still longs for her son’s return. But now she said she will pour all of that love and dedication into Jaylen’s younger siblings.

“I’m glad that that portion of it is over with so that I could focus on my children and focus on the rest of our lives,” his mother said.

Danicka said she and others in the community are already taking initiatives against gun violence in the town and will continue to do more for the town of Cullen.

“This is just the beginning. we now have time to focus on making sure his name is known everywhere, so that’s my goal,” she said.

The council will make their decision on June 24th as to what type of dedication the street will have.

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