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Father of slain JSU student says his son was trying to break up a fight when he was shot

By Madeleine Nolan

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    JACKSON, Mississippi (WAPT) — The father of a Jackson State University student who was shot and killed on campus talked to a Chicago news station about what happened the night his son was killed.

“He wasn’t a violent kid, he didn’t know anything about guns or fighting or gangs, you know, anything about that,” Jason Burns told WLS in Chicago. “He just — I don’t know, I never felt like this before in my life.”

Jason Burns said his son, Jaylen Burns, was with one of his fraternity brothers Sunday night who wanted to break up with his girlfriend and get his things out of her apartment at University Pointe. Jason Burns said he was told the girl had a group of people at her apartment when a fight broke out.

Jason Burns told WLS that his son was trying to break up the fight when he was shot and killed by someone with a gun.

According to police, Jaylen Burns apparently tried to drive himself to the hospital but only made it as far as Lynch Street and Alta Vista, where he encountered JPD officers. Jaylen Burns was taken to a hospital, where he died.

JPD is assisting campus police with the investigation into the fatal shooting.

Jaylen Burns, an industrial technology major at JSU, was from Chicago. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and president of the C100 Chapter at JSU, an affiliate of the 100 Black Men of America.

“On behalf of the JSU family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to all who knew and loved this bright young man,” JSU Acting President Elayne Hayes-Anthony said during Tuesday’s Founders’ Day convocation. “As I sat with his mother at UMMC and held her in the cradle of my arms, she talked about Jaylen. She told me how he crossed Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. That was his dream. She also told me about the four years of being on the dean’s list.”

Family members joined JSU students and staff Tuesday evening for a vigil on campus.

Jaylen Burns would have turned 22 in November, according to his father.

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