Mother of parking ramp victim speaks out as suspect appears in court

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MADISON (WKOW) — The mother of a man shot and killed over the weekend says although she is devastated over losing her son, she has forgiven his shooter.

21-year-old Steven Villegas was shot and killed in the State Street Campus Parking Garage early Sunday morning.

“A working man, a loving man, a kind man,” that’s how Villegas’ mother, Rashawn Villegas, described her son.

Steven Villegas was downtown for Freakfest when he was shot and killed.

“That person took away a loving son, she took away my son,” she said.

The accused shooter, Kenyairra Gadson, had her initial court appearance Tuesday.

The judge set her bail at $100,000 and said he didn’t know what her charges would be, but there is the potential for first degree intentional homicide.

“I’m grateful and thankful that that person did get caught,” his mother said.

She says that people close to Gadson reached out to her to explain the situation.

“From what we can understand, the bullet wasn’t even for him,” Rashawn Villegas said. “However even if it wasn’t meant for my son, it would have hit somebody else’s child.”

She says she doesn’t want to harbor any hate.

“I forgive her but will I stop feeling hurt? No,” she said. “Will I stop feeling the pain? No.”

There is still a memorial for the 21-year-old father of two outside of the parking ramp.

“They won’t get a chance to enjoy dad,” said Villegas’ mother.

His son is almost three and his daughter is about three weeks old.

“Yesterday he was crying I want my daddy, I want my daddy,” Rashawn said of her grandson. “So that was taken away from him.”

The kids keep a part of Villegas alive.

“He has a boy that looks just like him,” she said. “But the little girl is him, she looks definitely like him. So he’s always there through his kids. His two lovely kids.”

Gadson could be back in court as early as this Thursday, if she doesn’t post bail. If she does, the court date will be pushed back to next Thursday.

The judge stipulated that if Gadson does get out on bail she can’t possess firearms, will be GPS monitored, and can’t have any contact with the Villegas family.

Amanda Hari

Amanda Hari

Reporter, WKOW

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