MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis mother wants answers after her son was shot to death while sitting in a car in Parkway Village last year.

Loretta Starks said she was visiting her daughter in Atlanta, Georgia in August 2022 when she got a call from her son’s girlfriend saying her son, 23-year-old Kenneth Starks, didn’t come home that night.

She said she didn’t immediately get worried until she tried to call Kenneth several times and her calls went unanswered. Loretta and her daughter jumped in their car the next morning and made the trip back to Memphis.

“I’m on the road, and I’m praying that when I get on this road, God please. It’s just a mother’s instinct. Something was not sitting right with me on that road,” she said.

By the time they made it to Memphis, she got another phone call, but this time, it was the police.

“I’m thinking and thinking. I’m praying. I’m praying, but God is so real. He let us make in all the way to Memphis before the detectives to call,” Loretta said. “You never think that it’s going to be your house that they’re going to knock on that door and come in to say that we’re sorry to inform you that your child is gone.”

Memphis Police say her son Kenneth was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in the 3000 block of Churchill Street in Parkway Village when someone shot him.

MPD homicide investigators made the scene and had to break the news to Kenneth’s mother.

“He said that K.J. had been shot several times and that he was gone,” she said. “I just want everyone to know that is the worst feeling that you can ever have to know that he is never coming back. I’m never going to talk to K.J. again. I’m never going to see him ever again.”

Officers said several witnesses heard the gunfire.

“Man, I heard about four shots. It was about one o’clock in the morning. Tires screeching off. It was right behind my house. It was crazy,” one witness said.

Loretta said she believes her son knew his killer, and her healing can’t start until the killer is behind bars.

“I love you, and I miss you so much. If I could see that smile at the end of that bed saying ‘Ma,'” she said.

If you know who killed 23-year-old Kenneth Starks, you are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH. Your tip could help put a dangerous criminal behind bars and $4,000 cash in your pocket. Remember, all calls are confidential.