Tanesha Reed says she's finally in a "stable place" since losing her son Demarius, but is still struggling not to be angry at the two men accused of gunning down the football standout last month.
“I’m not angry. I promised myself at the beginning of all this, I promised I would not be angry because anger is such a destructive emotion. It can take you to a place that's really not good," she said Monday.
But Reed wants the suspects to know what their "sinful act" has done to her family. “I just want them to know the pain and devastation they have caused.’’
Two 20-year-old men from Detroit, Ed Jemeal Thomas and Kristopher Kaivon Pratt, are accused of fatally shooting Demarius Reed during a robbery in the stairwell of his apartment complex near the campus of Eastern Michigan University, where Reed was a starting wide receiver.
Both men have been charged with murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to police in Ypsilanti, Mich. Pratt is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm.
Thomas was being held without bail in the Washtenaw County Jail in Ann Arbor, according to the Ann Arbor News. Pratt was being held in the Wayne County Jail in Detroit on separate charges of stealing a pair of Air Jordans and the firing a gun.
Reed, 20, was found shot to death by his roommate at the University Green apartments around 7:15 a.m. on Oct. 18. Some of his personal possessions were missing, and police said the shooting happened during a robbery. Earlier this month, a reward for information in the case was raised to $15,000.
Tanesha Reed said she has had “a lot of ups and downs’’ since losing her son.
“I’ve gotten to a stable place. It’s just been really hard, you know? A lot of ups and downs. And I know they got the guys who did it,’’ she said. “I’m doing a lot better.
“I’m just grateful that I was given a son as wonderful as Demarius was,’’ Reed added.
She was at a football game Sunday in Michigan City when police called to say they had suspects. “It was a sinful act on their part,’’ she said. “My husband and I, we put so much into our son. So much.
“They robbed my son of his life,’’ she said, crying. “And he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was doing everything right. He did it his whole life. It’s sad that we live in a society where obviously these young people didn’t get what they needed in order to be productive individuals in society,’’ she said.
“I want the world to know that he deserved a future. He was very disciplined and very focused and very hardworking,’’ she said of her son. “We have five sons and one daughter and Demarius he was the oldest. He set an example."
Reed said her son was on the honor roll when he first got to college and “really learned a lot’’ from his classes. “He was just on his way.’’
She now struggles with how to explain to the rest of her children how a senseless tragedy could have happened to someone like their brother. “It’s hard because he was doing the right thing," Reed said. "What are you supposed to do? I’m praying they know that his life was not in vain.’’
Reed's father, Carl Reed, said he felt joy, sadness and anger when detectives called him to say charges were being filed.
In the month since the shooting, “I was feeling kind of hopeless that maybe this will go unresolved forever,’’ Reed said. “But when they called, there was that relief and then joy.
“There was sadness that came, I'm not sure why," he added. "I just relived the whole moment again. My wife, she was kind of upset. But I guess the feelings, they are all coming up again.
“Everybody is hopeful that we can bring some type of justice, some type of closure,’’ Reed said.
Reed said there is nothing he would say to the suspects if he could. “I don’t have a statement toward them. Of course, there’s anger toward them,’’ Reed said. “Whatever it was. . .it wasn’t worth it for my son.’’
Reed had attended Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, where he played receiver and defensive back and returned kicks. One of his biggest moments was a game-clinching interception in the final minute of a 47-41 win over Mount Carmel at Soldier Field in 2010.
At Eastern Michigan, Reed had started all six games this season as a wide receiver, with 15 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown, according to the school. His family said he was focused on making it to the NFL.