Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week: Father of 19 shot and killed on mother's birthday

NOW: Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week: Father of 19 shot and killed on mother’s birthday

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Not even two hours into 2022, a Milwaukee man was gunned down while celebrating the new year in a bar with friends. Jerome Howard's mother, Portia, sat down with CBS 58 just hours before cremating her son and saying goodbye to her first born. 

"They stole his life," said Portia Howard. "They killed my son on my birthday. I can't celebrate a birthday no more." 

Portia's birthday is Jan. 1. Her son, Jerome, was ringing in the new year with friends at Rose's Place on 20th and Locust. Milwaukee police say around 1 a.m., he got into an argument and someone shot him multiple times, killing him. 

"He didn't deserve what happened to him. I love him. I will miss him a lot. He was my everything," Portia said. 

Milwaukee police say they have no suspects but plenty of witnesses. 

"We are really hoping that some people from the bar will call Crime Stoppers and tell us what they saw so that we have the whole story," said Rosemarie Galindo, with the Milwaukee Police Department. 

Portia said her son worked as a barber but his greatest love was being a father. He had 19 children. 

"He was a ladies man," Portia said. "He loved his kids, he had a lot of them. He had 19 kids. Always say when God said be fruitful and multiply, he heard." 

Portia said she believes the shooting was personal. 

"This is like a crime of passion to me. Too much women, too many kids, too much jealousy. And everybody know jealous is of the devil."

Portia says instead of a gun, people need to pick something better to solve their problems. 

"Before you pull that trigger, bring that Bible out. Talk to God about it. If you're angry at somebody, talk to God about it. If your boyfriend or baby daddy isn’t doing you right, talk to God about it," Portia said. "You don’t have the right to go and shoot someone and if you do, there's consequences you have to face." 

While Portia hopes someone comes forward to help her get legal justice, she vows to get it from God either way. 

"Whoever did this to my son, I forgive you, and get your Bible out. You are gonna need it," Portia said. 

If you know anything about the shooting that killed 40-year-old Jerome Howard on Jan. 1, 2022, call Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS. Your call is always anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest, you get a $1,000 cash reward. 

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