He was gunned down in the street. A year later his killer is still free

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) -- Johnny Ray Izard Jr. was gunned down on in the streets of Lincolnton on May 4, 2018. A year later, his killer is still free.

"Oh God, he was the sweetest soul," his mother, Tesha Edwards, told FOX 46. "He loved life, period."

Edwards was on the phone with her sone the night he was shot on Newbold Street. She recalled hearing the gunfire in the background and the last words she said to him.

"I asked him if everything is all right, gave him a hug and told him loved him."

While his mother is desperate for answers, the trail to solve Izard's murder has gone cold. The old street motto "snitches get stiches," keeping police out of neighborhood business is what Det. Brandon Hunsucker with the Lincolnton Police Department believes is stiffling the investigation.

"We know that there were witnesses to the murder. We actually talked with thsoe witnesses, but they won't give us any information," he said. "It's like the folks are scared to come forward. There may be some intimidation there."

Taking a drive through Izard's old neighborhood, the message is clear police are not the most welcomed guests.

Edwards admitted her son ran with the wrong crowd at times. Records show he ran afoul of the law.

"I mean, who doesn't fall out with people, but I didn't think it would go this far," she said. "When we solved our problems, you didn't pick up a gun."

Randy Patterson remembers the night of the shooting vividly.

"My wife and I were watching TV, we heard shots fired and going on," he said. "We went outside and saw this young man who was out in the street was shot. Whoever did it should come forward and admit what went down."

Judy Stallings with Crime Stoppers said they have updated the Izard case on their Facebook page. Their now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Izard's family wants closure.

"We're having to go through life without him. My nieves are going to grow up without a father," Izard's sister said.