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Mother of latest slaying victim says son probably knew shooter

Wire • Aug 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM

A small spot at the top of Nancy Snyder's front porch is still stained with her son's blood.

She spent part of Saturday scrubbing and cleaning up the blood that was left after Toledo police and the Lucas County coroner wheeled her only son, Jeffrey "Jai" Poindexter, away in a body bag.

The 26-year-old was shot and killed in the early morning hours Friday at the duplex on West Delaware Avenue, where he had lived for only a few months.

Mr. Poindexter, who graduated from a culinary program at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., was shot seven times.

"It was personal," Ms. Snyder said. "I don't sense anger in my son's shooting."

Added Ms. Snyder's friend Beth Gould, "I sense passion."

Authorities have said the shooting began in the upstairs apartment where Mr. Poindexter lived -- Ms. Snyder and her girlfriend, Missy Brown, live in the downstairs apartment.

A neighbor told Ms. Snyder they heard two people quarreling about 1 a.m. on Friday and, a few hours later, gunshots.

Ms. Snyder said the neighbor was too afraid to call 911.

Because the shooting started upstairs, Ms. Snyder said her son must have known the person who shot him. He let the person inside, locked the door behind them, and invited the person upstairs.

What happened next is still a mystery, but Ms. Snyder said that, although her son was generous and loving, he wouldn't have gone down without a fight.

It appears that Mr. Poindexter tried to leave when the shooting started. He went down the front stairs and tried to unlock the door to get outside -- he may have been shot again as he tried to get out, Ms. Snyder said, pointing to a blood-splattered curtain behind the door.

Ms. Snyder said she tried to clean the blood off the door where it looked as if her son may have been trying to come for help.

Ms. Brown, who was inside sleeping, said, "I think he was trying to get in. He wanted me to help him. I would have. I would have taken bullets for that boy. I would have given my life."

Ms. Brown said she didn't hear any disturbance because of sleeping medication she takes.

Ms. Snyder arrived home from her part-time job about 5:30 a.m. She was walking up the sidewalk to the front door when she saw her son. She thought he was sleeping.

She tried calling his name again and again. When she got to the porch, she saw blood.

Ms. Snyder called 911 and fell to her son's side. The dispatcher told her to try giving him cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After several minutes passed, the dispatcher told her that she could stop.

Her son was gone.

She screamed.

"He and I were close," Ms. Snyder said. "Everything is so surreal. You go through life thinking 'This isn't going to happen to me' ... and then you come home and your son is lying on the porch in his own blood."

Now Ms. Snyder cannot look at the front porch without the image of her son lying there. It's enough that she and Ms. Brown are looking for a new place to live. That's not how the couple want to remember Mr. Poindexter; Ms. Brown also considers him as her son.

"When I came out -- he had the most beautiful eyes. He could melt you with those eyes. And he had no life in those eyes. No color," Ms. Brown said.

Mr. Poindexter was a man of many talents, Ms. Snyder said.

He loved to cook and took pride in his work -- every dish he prepared he took photographs of. He was artful and handy; he once crafted and installed a door frame using only a hammer and a screw driver.

"He's irreplaceable," Ms. Snyder said. "Not just as my son, but as a person. ... He was selfless. He would walk a million miles to do anything for anyone."

Added Ms. Brown, "He was an angel."

Ms. Snyder looked up and around the room.

"I have to ring a bell," she said. "I have to ring a bell because every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. Maybe my son will get his today."

Ms. Snyder, who has a daughter and son-in-law, both in the Air Force in Arkansas, said the family needs answers because there are too many still unanswered.

"We're not seeking any retaliation," Ms. Snyder said. "I'm not even angry at this person -- I have no ill will, I just want answers."

Cleaning the blood from her porch was the second hardest thing Ms. Snyder has ever done, she said.

The first was finding her son dead.

But it wouldn't have been right for anyone else to tend to the stains. This was her baby, her son.

"The last thing I could do for him was clean up his blood," she said. "It had to be done. I brought him into this world and it only seems it should be me who does it. It was the last physical thing I have of him."

Then she points to a small stain on her shoe -- Mr. Poindexter's blood.

"I won't wear any other shoes right now," she said. "This way he's always with me."


By Taylor Dungjen - The Blade, Toledo (MCT)

Copyright (c) 2011, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

To see more of The Blade, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.toledoblade.com.

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