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Mom spends thousands putting murdered son's face on billboards, public buses in Hampton Roads

Family wants justice for Samad Brailsford
Samad on bus.PNG
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 12:36:52-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - One local mother has spent thousands of dollars putting her son's face all over Hampton Roads after he was violently gunned down in Norfolk.

It’s been three and a half years, and the family is still searching for answers.

Samad Brailsford, a father of two, was gunned down days before Halloween on October 28, 2017.

Norfolk Police were called out to the 1300 block of Oklahoma Avenue for a gunshot victim.

Brailsford was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery for six hours but did not survive, according to his family.

His mother, Vera Pearson, said she currently has his face on six billboards in Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth and on three public buses.

Brailsford’s aunt, Alesia Spencer, lost one of her favorite people the day he died.

She said she was at the hospital the night doctors were trying to save him.

“That’s one of the hardest things - just standing by his bedside and watching them work tirelessly, trying to keep him alive,” said Spencer. “I begged them to keep working on him because I couldn’t accept that he was gone."

Over the past three and a half years, the family has held vigils and attended anti-violence rallies.

"He had so much more life to live, and in that moment if I could’ve traded places with him, I would’ve in a heartbeat," said Spencer. "I would’ve in a heartbeat traded places just to allow him some more time to live his life.”

“It's been awful,” said Teddy Baker, Brailsford’s great uncle. “There's really no words to describe when you lose somebody to senseless violence.”

The family said they won’t stop until they get answers about the killer and said they want to keep Brailsford’s memory alive.

Related: Woman surprises best friend with Norfolk billboard showing their sons who died from gun violence

Pearson praised the Norfolk Police Department and said they have continually updated her on her son’s case.

Norfolk police say this is an active and ongoing investigation.

They encourage anyone with information about this case to submit an anonymous tip at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887). You could be eligible for a reward.