Armond Latimore was planning to celebrate his 17th birthday with his family in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday, August 18th. He posted a message on his Facebook page about being glad that he had “made it to see 17.” But about an hour after writing that post, Latimore was shot and killed outside of a restaurant.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Latimore Was Shot in the Head While Going to Pick up Food
The last thing Armond Latimore did was go to pick up food for his birthday. He chose Bing Lau Chop Suey, a Chinese restaurant in St. Louis. Latimore was standing outside the restaurant Saturday afternoon, August 18th when he was shot in the head.
Public Information officer Michelle Woodling of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says officers got the call about a shooting around 1 p.m. Latimore was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.
Police have not released any information about a possible motive, or suspects. No one has been arrested. The department is asking anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).
According to St. Louis TV station Fox2Now, there have been 114 homicides in St. Louis so far in 2018. Citing the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, at least 68 of those cases remain unsolved. At least 87 of those killed were African-American.
2. Armond Latimore Sent a Final, Chilling Message Shortly Before the Shooting
The teen posted on Facebook about an hour before the fatal shooting. He wrote, “Thru all the bullshit I den been thru I’m just glad I can say I made it to see 17 #MYDAY #FREEGANG ⛽?.”
Latimore’s final message has been shared more than 400 times. It has prompted dozens of well-wishes from friends and strangers alike.
A teacher of Latimore’s also commented on Facebook on the story published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Erik Lewis shared that he had gotten to know Latimore “over the last three years at St Louis College Prep. The guy was always smiling, full of humor, and full of life. Always making me laugh. Most certainly a life to be honored.”
The post on August 18th was not the first time Latimore had written about his own mortality. On July 4th, he wrote, “An i still ain dead yet. ??!! #Happy4thOfJuly.”
3. Armond Latimore Posted Photos of Himself With a Gun and Stacks of Cash
As stated above, police have not publicly commented on a potential motive for the killing. But Latimore’s mother, Chandra D. Payne, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that rumors have begun circulating about her son’s previous Facebook posts.
Armond Latimore posted many photos on Facebook surrounded by money. The picture above shows Latimore holding what looks to be a large stack of $100s.
There is also the photo below, which was published on July 15th. Latimore is making some sort of hand signal and a handgun can be seen sticking out of his waistband. The caption reads, “The devil want my soul.. #InGodITrust.”
4. Latimore’s Mother Describes Him as a Helpful Kid Who Enjoyed Earning Money
Armond Latimore’s mother Chandra Payne was buying ice cream for her son’s birthday when she got the call that he had been shot.
She was dismissing the rumors she says were going around about her son following his death. Payine told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her son had never owned a gun. She also said the money shown in the Facebook photos did not belong to him.
She told the newspaper, “He was always a helping-hand child. He would cut grass, wash your car or sell water. He loved music and loved money and always made it the right way.” According to his Facebook page, Latimore worked at a Foot Locker store.
After his death, Payne said she found a note he had written about a bully at school. But she said Latimore had not discussed having any problems with her or his father.
5. Latimore Posted Support on Facebook for a Teen Accused of Murder
On June 15th, Latimore posted the above photo of Richard Antwon Donaldson. He was accused of shooting and killing a 72-year-old grandfather named Kenneth Spalter in February of 2017. Donaldson was 16 at the time but has been charged as an adult. The charges included second-degree murder, robbery, and criminal action.
Latimore wrote in the caption of the photo, “#Fr27MOB ina min gang !! Keep yo head up iner boay.” One friend on Facebook urged him to delete the post.