DETROIT (WXYZ) — "It's been hard, I mean, at nighttime, I just think about it and I pray. I cry sometimes," said the 14-year-old boy who Detroit Police said shot and killed his mother's boyfriend when the 38-year-old man was threatening to kill his mother early Friday morning on Steel Street on the city's west side.
The teen's mother reached out to 7 Action News because she said her son wanted to talk publicly about some things he wants people to know.
"People act like I wanted to do it, but, honestly, people know that I actually love Cory," the teen said in an exclusive interview. "But the fact is I'm supposed to protect my momma at any cost."
The teen said he doesn't have a father figure. His mom has raised him and his four brothers on her own and so he loved it when Cory took them to get haircuts.
His mom said she loves a lot about Cory like when he helped around the house or in the yard. But there were a lot of bad times and she said for too long she hoped their relationship would get better.
She said she often asked Cory to stop drinking and to stop pulling guns on her. She said the bullet holes in her walls are from Cory shooting in the house twice this year.
Then late last week, trouble in the relationship ended when police and witnesses said Cory Jackson armed himself with his gun and threatened to shoot his girlfriend.
The teen said he was afraid he would lose his mother. "I just kinda wish that he never showed up at the house," he said. "I couldn't imagine losing her. Life wouldn't be the same because nobody love you like a mother do."
The teen and his mom did not talk about details surrounding the shooting that is still under investigation.
The teen's mother said her five sons could tell she and Cory were in a volatile relationship and she often tried to hide bruises or lied about how she got them.
"It's my fault my son is in the the predicament that he's in right now," she said on the steps of what is now their old house.
Since the fatal shooting that took place feet away, they've been staying with relatives as they try to raise money to move and for much needed counseling.
"I see him crying and barely sleeping and talking about it. I see him sitting sometimes with blank stares and I know it's bothering him," she said. "It's not worth it."
"I should have walked away a long time ago before it got to this. I should have walked away a long time ago," she said.
But she admits she stayed because she loved Cory. They all did.
"I really did love him," she said. "I never hated him."
On Friday, relatives of Cory Jackson said they often witnessed situations where the teen's mother assaulted Cory.
"The whole relationship was just terrible," said Yamisha Jackson, Cory Jackson's sister. "I just wish he would have left."