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Tuscaloosa family mourning the death of murdered star basketball player Jalen Merriweather

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) - A Tuscaloosa mother is seeking justice for her murdered son.

Angela Merriweather is heartbroken and devastated. Her 18-year-old son Jalen Merriweather was shot and killed Friday night at the Broadmoore Gardens Apartments. Investigators from Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide unit are searching for the accused killer, 48-year-old Donald Robertson.  

"That man doesn't know what he took away from me. He took away my best friend and heartbeat," Merriweather said. "Maybe one day I will realize and I will be strong enough, but I am so weak now that I don't know how I am going to make it without him."

Police said Donald Robertson came to the apartment complex to confront his ex-girlfriend. The two had an argument about their child. At some point, Robertson pulled out a gun and struck the woman with the weapon. The woman's brother, 18-year-old Jalen Merriweather, got between the two to protect his sister and that is when the suspect allegedly shot him in the chest.

"I want him brought to justice and I want him to turn himself in," Merriweather said.

Angela Merriweather says her son was planning to attend the University of West Alabama to study engineering and was going to play basketball. The 18-year-old was a star basketball player at Holt High school. The night before he was killed, Jalen and his teammates celebrated a major victory on the basketball court winning the AHSAA Class 4A, Area 7 championship.

"He was smart and witty. He made me laugh all the time and he loved his family and loved me, and we loved each other and called each other best friends," Merriweather said. "He wanted to go far in life and play basketball. He played since he was five. And that's all he cared about."

Murder suspect Donald Robertson is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous. 

Tuesday night, students at Holt High school are planning to release balloons as a tribute to Jalen Merriweather.

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