Mother of teen charged with killing youth football coach speaks out

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–The mother of a teenager charged in a fatal shooting of a youth football coach is sharing their side of the story.

Tanika’s son Jason Washington is facing second-degree murder charges, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. District Attorney John Flynn says the 17 year-old allegedly shot and killed youth football coach Norzell Aldridge at the end of August.

“He is doing things, he is acting like an adult, he is committing big boy crimes here, allegedly,” Flynn said. “He deserves to be tried in big boy court.”

At that time, a source told News 4 that Aldridge was trying to protect young people during a fight moments before he was shot.

“You got a 36 year-old man here, giving back to the community, helping these kids out, keeping these kids off the streets,” Flynn said. “Trying to intervene and trying to basically save someones life.”

Tanika says she believes that’s not really what happened, and that her son is being wrongly accused.

“Knowing that he’s alleged to have played a part in this matter. It’s a little shocking, because my son is not that person,” Tanika said.

She says she knows her son is not perfect, but does not believe he’s a malicious person either. She says there’s a lot of unanswered questions on what exactly happened in August when Aldridge was killed and hopes police get to the bottom of it.

“He’s not this malicious child these people portray him to be,” Tanika said.

Washington is facing 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder. He is also facing first degree assault in an unrelated case. He faces 25 years behind bars for that charge.

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