The grief-stricken mother of a New Jersey high school student who was killed in a weekend shooting remembered how the 18-year-old gave her a “hug and a kiss” before leaving the house for the last time.
“He gave me a hug and I’m like, ‘You’re choking me,’” Hawa Fofana told NJ.com Monday evening about her son, Moussa Fofana, who was gunned down at Underhill Field in Maplewood around 9:40 p.m. Sunday.
“He said, ‘Mommy, I’m just going to give you a kiss.’ He gave me a hug and a kiss, and then he left the house,” she said.
Moussa, a senior at nearby Columbia High School, was pronounced dead at the scene a few hours later, not far from the field where he starred for the school’s soccer team.
Another male student, a 17-year-old who has not been identified, was shot in the leg and treated at a nearby hospital, cops said.
No arrests have been and police have offered few details on the shooting.
“I’m very, very sad,” Fofana told the news outlet as she sat in a car in front of her Maplewood home. “He was so full of life. It’s going to be very difficult. That was my best friend.”
She said police have not told her what happened or why her son was shot.
“I don’t really know right now,” she said, adding that her son was home “all day” Sunday but decided to hang out with a friend around 7:30 p.m.
Friends told CBS 2 – NY that Fofana and the other teen were cutting through the field on their way to watch a late-night boxing match at a pal’s house.
Hawa Fofana told The New York Times that she got a call from a friend around 10 p.m. Sunday that her son had been shot.
In disbelief, she hung up and tried to reach her son via FaceTime — but a police officer answered the call.
“It was like they put cold water over my whole body,” she told The Times. “I was shocked.”
Fofana told NJ.com that authorities are yet to provide her with a possible motive for the killing.
“Wrong place at the wrong time,” she said. “I don’t know what happened.”
Locals told CBS 2 that a rough crowd has recently started drinking and doing drugs in the field, but that the double-shooting was the first violence they’d heard of in the area.
Fofana described her son as a loving boy who dreamed of playing soccer professionally.
“That’s what he wanted to be — a soccer player,” Fofana said.
Former Columbia coach Josh Russotto described Fofana as a kid who had “a ton of energy.”
“He had a long life ahead of him,” Russotto told NJ.com. “He had a great smile, he loved life. He was always laughing. He was very passionate about the game. I know he was well liked by many of the players.
“Regardless of age, regardless of what sport, he had a lot of friends,” he added. “It’s just hard to believe.”