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Family of Niagara Falls shooting victim relying on faith, spreading the message 'choose life and not hate'

“We're still in disbelief. We're still rattled,” said Marsha McWilson, whose 24-year-old son was killed Saturday.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The mother of a 24-year-old shot and killed in Niagara Falls this weekend is speaking out and calling on others looking to carry out senseless acts of violence to choose life and not hate.

Niagara Falls Police say Jaylan McWilson was shot outside his family home around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Lockport Street and South Avenue. 2 On Your Side learned Monday afternoon that investigators don't believe McWilson's death was a random act.

"I would hesitate to go as far as a motive but I don't consider it a random act I believe the suspect knew the victim," said John Conti, Captain of the Niagara Falls Police Criminal Investigation Division.

Shaken but relying on their faith during a difficult time, the McWilson family is well known in Western New York for their musical contributions.

“We're still in disbelief. We're still rattled,” said Jaylan's mother, Marsha McWilson a local entertainer and singer.

Marsha is used to the spotlight but the light turned on her family after the death of her son is something that's even left her voiceless at times.

"He was our miracle son. The doctor said we couldn't have any children and I told the doctor that next year I would be pregnant and I was," Marsha McWilson said.

Jaylan like his mother was gifted with some of the same musical talents, as was his younger brother Cameron who is also a music artist. Marsha said Jaylan was kind, giving, and trusting.

His family told 2 On Your Side that Jaylan was the victim of a senseless act of violence. Marsha and her husband, Howard weren't home when their son was murdered and all that remained when they arrived were rubber gloves and blood on the front porch they said.

Jaylan later died at Niagara Falls Medical Center.

"We don't want anyone to go out and try to retaliate we don't want anyone to go after anybody because god because god is going to get the one that done this," Marsha McWilson said.

Howard and Marsha both sighting the bible verse, Romans 12:19: "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord."

For as much as the family has given to Western New York, they never expected a plea to end gun violence to be a part of that; as no one should expect.

Since Saturday's tragedy, the McWilsons have been graced with so much kindness they said. Numerous friends and families have stopped by their home, their phones have rung non-stop and they appreciate the love.

"All I can say is his life will not be in vain someone is going to see this video and they're going to stop in their tracks and make another decision," Marsha said, in a plea to others thinking of carrying out such violent acts.

Anyone with information about Jaylan's death is asked to call the Niagara Falls Police Criminal Investigation Division at (716) 286-4553 or the General Information Number at (716) 286-4711.

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