On Mother’s Day this year after leaving a Champion City church service, Cameron received the call that her daughter, Shauna, died in a shooting while riding in a car on U.S. 35 in Riverside. Two others were riding in the maroon Impala, and both were not harmed.
Riverside police later identified a “strong person of interest” in the shooting: Jamar Hayes, 26. He has since been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but as of Monday he was not in custody. Anyone who knows of his whereabouts is urged to call 911, police said.
Cameron said she has already forgiven anyone involved in her daughter’s death.
“It’s not a power I have within myself, but I cannot wait to look that young man in the eye and tell him I forgive him and that I’m sorry that’s who you think you have to be.”
Cameron has lost many loved ones to gun violence. Her daughter’s brother, De’Shon Benton, died in a shooting in 2020.
The mother and her daughter have also lost family and friends to community violence, and Cameron is calling for change.
Shauna’s mother pointed to the acts of violence involving young people seen in the community over the past several years: in 2005, a Springfield youth counselor and Urbana University senior, Titus Arnold, died in a shooting. Arnold was a family friend to both Cameron and Shauna.
Recently, Springfield saw a mass shooting at the beginning of the month, where one woman died and four other people were injured. Less than a year before, another mass shooting injured six people at an event center on South Yellow Springs Street.
“If you see me on a soapbox, just know I’m not crazy,” she said. “I’m just tired.”
Cameron said in her previous work at Oesterlen – currently a mental health, behavioral health, and social services agency that offers residential treatment programming, counseling services and skills development for at-risk youth – and Visions for Youth, she worked with many young people who felt disconnected with their community, lacking networks of support. There she formed bonds with many young people, encouraging them to find creative outlets for expression, like poetry, and pursue their goals.
“We’ve got to do better, talking to these children who don’t have mothers, fathers who can tell them who they don’t have to be,” Cameron said. “There are choices, and we can make a difference in how people make choices.”
Cameron said that Shauna was a compassionate soul, and she always wanted to help people, volunteering often at the area soup kitchen and taking up work at nursing homes. She loved scary movies and spending time with friends.
Shauna was a graduate of Opportunities for Individual Change “OIC” of Clark County’s Life Skills program. She also attended Springfield City Schools.
She was studying to become a nurse assistant at Ross Medical Education Center in Dayton, Cameron said.
Cameron received Shauna’s diploma and lab coat from the school following her passing. Shauna was months away from graduating with a near-perfect GPA.
Her funeral services, or “homegoing,” held on May 13, were packed with people whose lives were touched by Shauna, Cameron said.
The 31-year-old loved bright colors and was a “selfie queen,” so rainbow bandanas featuring a selfie of Shauna were created to honor her.
“She was so beautiful,” Cameron said. “And she was loved by a lot of people.”