‘He didn’t do this’: Mom of man charged in 3-year-old’s death claims he’s innocent

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — On Monday, 21-year-old Jacob Lanier faced a judge.

He’s one of two people arrested after a hail of bullets were fired into a Charlotte home. One of those bullets hit and killed a child as he slept in his bed.

The shooting happened at a home on Richard Rozzelle Drive last week. Officials say young gunmen fired nearly 150 shots.

Now, the mother of the man accused of pulling the trigger is adamant the truth will come out.

“I was devastated when I heard that,” Lanier’s mom told FOX 46, referring to the moment she heard a shooting took the life of a three-year-old boy.

“I didn’t even know what was going on at the time,” she said, “And I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, I apologize to the family. I apologize. My son cried. He apologized, because he didn’t do it. That’s not him at all. I promise you that’s not him.”

Lanier’s mom was visibly shaken over a nightmare that’s now become her reality. One of her five children is accused of killing Asiah Figueroa.

“He’s very sweet! He’s a sweet young man. He’s not a monster,” she said, “He would have never done this. I know he didn’t do this.”

Video from that night shows suspects unloading the rounds into the house Asiah Figueroa was in. In court, attorneys told the judge some of those bullets were directly linked to a weapon, they believe, Lanier was using. They say it’s that weapon that shot and killed Asiah.

When asked if she recognized anyone in the surveillance video, Lanier’s mom said she hasn’t watched it.

Last week, police pressured parents of students at Hopewell, North Mecklenburg and Chambers high schools to ask their kids where they were the night the shooting happened.

“I’ve been doing that. I keep close tabs on my kids,” said Lanier’s mom.

She maintains her son is innocent.

“I’m shocked. I’m just shocked, but I know he didn’t do this. He didn’t,” she said.

Police said the shooting, and multiple others that’ve taken place, have been the result of “teenage dispute games” that’ve turned into deadly games. The two men they’ve charged in connection to this crime, however, are 21-years-old.

CMPD clarified they believe the case is related to activities at local high schools, but didn’t elaborate on the ages of those they believe are involved. Back in court, the judge ruled Lanier will stay in jail without bond. As he left, he and his mother exchanged a tearful goodbye.

“I love you, mom,” Lanier said.

“I love you too!” his mom replied.

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