Woman who lost son in Melbourne shooting speaks out about his life, looks for answers

A woman who lost her teenage son in a shooting on Mother’s Day weekend is speaking about his life and the tragedy that unfolded.


Melbourne Police found 16-year-old Kobe Kirkland injured along Cedar Drive and Lipscomb Street on May 13.

He died four days later.

Kirkland’s mother, Patricia Hester, never imagined this would happen, but she is sure that other young people with information could help the police.

She described her son as an old soul. And days after Kirkland was shot and fatally wounded in the family’s front yard, she still does not refer to him in the past tense.

Read: One person in critical condition after shooting in Melbourne, police say

Kirkland liked to fix things and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He employed other neighborhood children through his lawn business and taught them how to make money for themselves.

His mother said her son stayed close to his Melbourne home, where he was on Mother’s Day weekend when shots rang out on Cedar Drive.

“I heard the gunshots, ran and slammed the door,” she said. “And I heard some screaming that Kobe has been shot, Kobe has been hit.”

Hester ran back outside, and what she saw next made her faint. She said when she came to, a nurse who lived nearby was asking her to help perform CPR.

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“All I could hear her say is, ‘(Are) you mama? You got to give him two breaths, you got to give him two breaths,’” Hester said.

Kirkland was still breathing when he was taken away. He fought before he finally died because of his injuries.

“My child wasn’t into violence,” she said. “And I just would have never thought that my child would have a bullet in his head,” she said. “It’s still in his head, and I have to bury my child.”

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Hester said she wouldn’t rest until the police found out who was responsible.

Melbourne Police said their investigation is active and ongoing.

Hester said one of her other children wants to keep his brother’s lawn business alive.

Kirkland’s phone is in investigators’ hands, and Hester hopes customers reach out to her.

Hester started a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of her son’s funeral.

Her son’s services will be held Friday.

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