Tulsa family hopeful answers will come after son shot dead in 2009 cold case

Posted at 8:26 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 04:55:59-04

TULSA - A family holds out hope police will find answers in their son's 2009 cold case.

To understand the pain and devastation of McClain High School's 2009 graduation ceremony you have to go back exactly one week.

"The first officers on the scene found about 20 people in the street running in different directions, and there was a car leaving the scene. It was a pretty chaotic scene," said an officer on the scene that night.

The swirling police lights illuminating the fear.

The police tape standing between a father and his son's body.

"It hurts so bad that sometimes I just have to stop and weep for the fact that my buddy's gone," said Jason Trent II, Jason Trent III, also known as Jake's father soon after the shooting.

He can't forget that May 12 day.

"We had just went to bed, and I heard the gunshots."

Or the phone call.

"He said 'Daddy you need to get over here, they said Jake is shot.'"

He jumped up to meet his oldest son at a party down the street.

“I just remember the girls and stuff crying, all of our family immediately showed up, and our pastor."

Officers ran from them to the unknown behind the tape a number of times repeating two names.

 “My husband says listen, little Jason is our son, and this is his friend. And that’s when they say well, Jason Trent didn’t make it," said Kantrice Trent, Jake's mother.

The Trents went numb.

"It was surreal from there," his father said.

From what police, neighbors and friends can gather the story behind the four walls of the house at North Garrison and East 41st Place goes something like this.

“About 12:30 in the morning there were some people at that residence who were inside playing dominoes having a good time," said Detective Eddie Majors of the Tulsa Police Department's Cold Case Homicide Division.

Then, a sound at the door.

“And heard someone said 'hey, bro.' And couldn’t figure out who it was. And so, someone said it again, and the victim walked toward the front door and that’s when gunfire was shot into the house."

Friends told Jake's mother the homeowner left and put Jake in charge.

So when someone knocked, Jake was going to answer.

“There’s some speculation that I’m thinking that maybe the person that was killed was not the intended target," police said.

Back then, they said they struggled with the investigation.

"Often times when we get to the scene we have a pretty good idea of what happened, why it happened and who's responsible for it. That's not the case in this one," an officer said back in 2009 while investigating.

There was speculation the shooter was a gang member, but they knew Jake wasn't.

“From what they gathered talking to friends and stuff like that, he wasn’t involved in any gangs or anything like that. And he was just there playing dominoes, so why him?” police said.

“Everybody on the street knows who did it," said Jake's father.

His parents disappointed in the investigation.

“They arrested all three guys that night, and they let them go.”

Police never got the evidence to file charges.

Attributing the case going cold to a "no snitch" mentality.

 “It’s very frustrating because it’s a sign that you just - you’re allowing evil to occur and you know about it.”

But frustration doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.

“You’ve got a funeral and the guy that kills your son walks in the door. That’s frustration.”

The family forced to lay their outspoken, intelligent son to rest before his life began.

"For her it was the day he got shot, for me it was the day I had to leave him at Green Acres."

They don't visit him often because the Jake they knew is on their walls, in decorated frames and in this book his mother often flips through.

It's the senior project he finished just before he died, and days before he would've accepted the diploma his best friend had to take instead.

But on this day, as they stand in the last place they ever saw their son, they know who's really in control.

"The Lord says vengeance is mine, and I will repay. Not Jason will repay, not Kantrice will repay. He'll repay."

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