PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Tomeka Love faces a stark reality: she is the mother of the fifth person murdered in Bloomington in 2022.

“What I would do to switch in his shoes. Who would want—what mom wants to be—see your son buried?” she questioned.

Love’s 17-year-old son, Kanye Stowers was shot and killed early Saturday morning near East Mill St. and South Gridley St.

“You went to a party. A party! Just like any average teenager go to a party for the weekend. And he ain’t coming back! He’s not coming back! God he’s not coming back!”

“I’m not going to be able to hear my son come home no more. I’m not going to be able to hear him text me and say, ‘Mom how you doing?’ I’m not going to be able to hear his voice any more.”

Tomeka Love

Love describes Stowers as popular and the sociable life of the party. He was a senior at Richwoods High School in Peoria, just weeks away from graduating. 

“He worked. He loved to rap. He loved to make videos and do his music, produce music. He was an average good kid,” said Love.

But then Saturday morning, Love got a call from her other son that no parent ever wants to hear.

“When I got that call—when I heard his voice on that phone, when he said, ‘Mom, Kanye dead. Kanye dead, Mom! Mom, Kanye dead!’ When he said that to me, I just immediately collapsed,” she cried.

Love said she wasn’t aware of anyone being at odds with Stowers who would have wanted to cause him harm. Now she is encouraging others to keep a close eye on their kids.

She said, “To all ya’ll moms out there, watch ya’ll kids. Know what they doing. Know where they going. Be aware.”

“Don’t ever think your kid is perfect or anybody kids is perfect. Everybody do wrong, but they don’t deserve to die.”

Tomeka Love

As Love works to find strength in the midst of heartbreak, she shares a message to the person responsible. 

“To the people who did this to my son, whoever you may be, it’s going to eat and haunt your soul,” she said.

Love said she refuses to let this become a cold case. As of right now, Bloomington Police say there is no suspect information to be released. If you have any information, you’re asked to contact Detective Brad Melton at (309)434-2537 or Detective Brock Merritt at (309) 434-2359