Springfield mother asks for help solving her son’s murder

(Photo: WKRN)

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Springfield mother is asking for help from the public in solving her son’s 2012 murder.

Rashaud Singletary-Pettis’ death is the city’s only unsolved murder. Springfield police believe people in town know who killed him but will not say.

At the foot of the steps leading to his mother’s home sits a stone with a short message that describes her daily grief.

It reads, “No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye, you were gone before we knew it, and only God knows why.”

Jan Singletary-Pettis (Photo: WKRN)
Jan Singletary-Pettis (Photo: WKRN)

Jan Singletary-Pettis is sure a lot of people know who killed her son on May 6, 2012.

“I just wish the community would come forward,” she said. “It is not snitching, no; you are doing the right thing.”

Rashaud, known as “Shaudy” by his friends and family, was 20 years old when he was shot and killed. He was visiting family at a home on John L. Patterson Street in Springfield the night he died.

According to police, an argument started near the home, but he was not a part of it and left the area.

But as he walked behind the house, he was shot in the head from behind.

“We know seven to 10 people were there at the time,” Detective Charles Bogle told News 2. “We know people know what happened.”

Rashaud Singletary-Pettis (Photo: WKRN)
Rashaud Singletary-Pettis (Photo: WKRN)

Springfield police made an arrest after the shooting, but they had to let the suspect go due to a lack of evidence. Specifically, they had a lack of eyewitness statements to make charges stick against the man.

“We need someone to step forward and take the initiative to give us a call,” Det. Bogle said. “They need to give us additional information on this case.”

Rashaud grew up in Springfield and was Jan and her husband’s only child.

“People joked that I was too old to have a baby. I didn’t have him until I was 31,” she said. “But we prayed and worked hard to have him.”

She acknowledges that her son had a criminal past and that he spent time in prison. He was released just five weeks before his murder.

“He was transitioning well to being at home,” Jan explained. “He got a job and was getting back in touch with family and friends.”

Since Rashaud’s death, the grieving mother has advocated for an end to gun and gang violence in her community as well as started the Rashaud Singetary-Pettis Memorial Fund.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“It is a movement against violence and a movement to teach children and young adults that there are more things to life than fighting, drugs, or hanging in the streets,” she told News 2. “There is education, there is getting better jobs and living productive lives.”

Jan told News 2 she is happy to put her focus on the young people in her community. One of the foundation’s biggest acts is to award scholarships each year to local teens.

However, she says that she can’t help but think what she missed out on when Rashaud died.

“I wanted to be a grandmother because I have such a love for children,” she said. “The pain, the suffering, the heartache that I went through is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Governor Bill Haslam has offered a $10,000 state reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing Rashaud.

If you have any information that can help close this cold case, call Springfield Police at 615-384-8422 or call Crime Stoppers at 615-382-2677.