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Bronx mother’s murder victim Jayquan Lewis calls for justice


A cold-blooded killer shot 21-year-old Jayquan ‘JJ’ Lewis inside the BH Gourmet Deli on Bainbridge Avenue at Fordham Manor on August 13, 2021, as the ‘Law & Order’ supplement waited to buy a bottle from Poland Spring water. On the one-year anniversary of her son’s murder, Marisol Sanchez, 47, revealed the grief she endures each day her son’s killer remains at large and told The Post’s Dean Balsamini of her quest to justice amid lax laws – without giving up on NYC.

My son was the light of my life and the heart of the house.

What happened to him is an injustice that has tormented me for a year. There are so many shots. It’s insane. The shots don’t improve. Every day you hear the stories of people who are suffering. People dying. You see devastated families on television.

It has to stop. And it has to stop now. I want justice for my son. His killer remains free. He condemned me to a life of pain. He killed my son for no reason. My son had a big heart, a big smile and helped everyone he met. He didn’t run with gangs. It’s the stereotype. He was a good boy. He wanted to be an actor and loved all types of music. From Mariah Carey to Kendrick Lamar via Bon Jovi.

I feel like JJ is with me all the time. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence when the LED lights in her bedroom in our apartment cycle on and off. His room remains the same. Everything stays in place. It comforts me.

Marisol Sanchez remembers her son being killed while sitting in his bedroom at their Bronx home.
Stefan Jeremiah
The cover of the NY Post highlighting the murder of Jayquan Lewis on August 15, 2021.
The cover of the NY Post highlights the murder of Jayquan Lewis on August 15, 2021.
New York post illustration
Marisol Sanchez touches a sticker of her son's face in the back of her car.
Marisol Sanchez touches a sticker of her son’s face in the back of her car.
Stefan Jeremiah
Photo taken in studio by Jayquan Lewis.
Marisol Sanchez worries about how Jayquan Lewis’ killer “stays free”.
Tomas E. Gaston

Even though my heart is broken because of this, I haven’t given up on New York. But things must change. I plead with any elected official reading this that we need to change the bail reform laws. It’s insane how criminals are arrested and released on the same day for criminal crimes. These are the same individuals who are arrested again and again. And each time they do, it gets worse and worse.

For now, I’m not planning to move because we had a lot of good memories in our house: movie nights with pizza and Chinese food, lots of laughs.

I went back to the grocery store where my son was murdered and prayed.

Footage from Survilliance shows Jayquan Lewis waiting to buy cold water before he was shot and killed.
Surveillance footage shows Jayquan Lewis waiting to buy cold water before he was shot and killed.
Marisol Sanchez leafs through a photo album in her son's bedroom.
Marisol Sanchez leafs through a photo album in her son’s bedroom.
Stefan Jérémie for New York Pos
Marisol Sanchez stands where her son Jayquan Lewis was shot and killed at the BH Gourmet Deli.
Marisol Sanchez stands where her son Jayquan Lewis was shot and killed at the BH Gourmet Deli.
Stefan Jeremiah
Marisol Sanchez sits in her son's bedroom at her home in Fordham Manor in the Bronx on Friday, August 5, 2022 in New York City.
Marisol Sanchez kept her son’s room intact to comfort her despair.
Stefan Jeremiah

As the birthday draws near, I’m reliving it all again. As if it happened everywhere. I exercise and write to stay sane and focused. I’m working on my Masters in Criminal Justice at Monroe College.

I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I just want justice for my son. I want his killer caught. I want him to be held accountable for what he did. These shootings must stop. So many families lose loved ones to senseless gun violence. It has to stop.

New York Post

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