More than anything Tiffany Pugh, the mother of Jaheim Pugh wanted answers. Her son Jaheim Pugh, 19, was gunned down while leaving a Christmas party, murdered for what he was wearing, a rainbow jumper. He was left where he fell, jeered at by bystanders in a live Facebook video who told him that if he wasn’t wearing a dress he would have been still alive.
To those who knew and loved Jaheim, it just doesn’t make sense. His murder was a hate crime committed against a beautiful cisgender gay man, flew in the face of everything they loved about him.
Video by Roland Foster, shared by Jaheim Pugh’s mother which she prefaced with “Jaheim Pugh Jaheim Barbie”
There has been much uncertainty as to how the deceased self-identified within the LGBTQI community.
A member of our TDoR team was told by a family member that he was a gay man and that Bella was both his club name and his new puppy’s name. They said that it was all new to the 19-year-old and that he was “trying to figure it all out.”
Tiffany Pugh told Fox 10 News that Jaheim identified as both a man and woman, that his murder was a hate crime.
As explained by pgh lesbian correspondents who first reported writing, “This is a complicated story about identity, but it is a story that must be shared within that complexity because it also reflects the consequences of intolerance and hate in our society. The victim who was murdered in this story was a 19-year-old young adult who was identified by friends as using both he/him and she/her pronouns but referred to by other friends and family as male.”
“My son was killed because of what he was wearing not because of who he was or what he did,” his mother, Tiffany Pugh, said.
She said he was targeted because he was wearing women’s clothing.
I loved him with everything in me,” Pugh said. “That’s why he could shine like he did. Everything I had I poured into Jaheim.”
She said the night he was killed he was wearing a rainbow-colored jumpsuit.
“They took somebody special because he wore a dress,” Pugh said.
The victim’s mother said a video posted on Facebook the morning her son was killed showed him laying on the ground as bystanders recorded.
“Everybody dies, but not everyone lives,” a line from the song his mother shared.
James Lee James Jr., 33, was booked into the Mobile jail Wednesday night and charged in the killing of Jaheim Pugh, 19, who was shot to death at a Christmas gathering in Prichard over the weekend. According to the Houston Chronicle two other unnamed people were injured in the shooting.
James told reporters he is innocent and will be out of jail soon, but prosecutors are trying to keep him behind bars.
Records show James was out on bail after being charged with assault and other offenses following shooting earlier this year, and authorities are asking a judge to revoke that bond.
Rest In Peace Jaheim Bella Pugh