EXCLUSIVE: Isiah Robinson’s mother remembers son killed in Blacksburg hookah lounge shooting

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A man faces up to life in prison after being convicted of murdering a Roanoke high school student. Isiah Robinson was gunned down at a Blacksburg hookah lounge last year.

WDBJ7′s Patsy Montesinos sat down with Robinson’s mother Andrea White to talk about what the verdict means to her.

It was a night of celebration for Isiah Robinson. The 18-year-old Patrick Henry High School senior had just learned he’d be heading to college to play football.

“He was real excited. That’s all he wanted to do was play football,” said White. “Mom, I’m gonna go to the NFL and buy you a house. That was his goal.”

After finding out the big news, White says her son went to Melody Hookah Lounge in Blacksburg in February of 2022. But everything changed when she received a call saying there had been a shooting.

“My first question I asked was ‘Did you see Isiah?’ They said no,” explained White.

She texted her son and didn’t receive a response. She checked his location constantly - it never changed. That’s when she headed to Blacksburg where she met with police.

“There were five people shot and Isiah didn’t make it. And I hear that, I hear that constantly, you know. Isiah didn’t make it,” added White. “I’m always hearing it.”

White says it’s hard knowing she wasn’t there to protect her baby – the youngest of her five children.

“And it bothers me of how he was feeling,” added White. “What was he thinking when he was shot? Was he calling for Mama? Did he know that he wasn’t going to make it?”

Last Tuesday, almost two years after Robinson’s death, a Montgomery County jury found Jamel Flint guilty of shooting and killing Robinson. Flint faces up to life in prison. His sentence hearing is scheduled for later this week.

White says she feels bad for all the families affected by the shooting - including Flint’s family. WDBJ7 asked White if she felt like she had justice.

“I do. I really do,” said White. “I mean it won’t bring my son back, but you know.”

Now her plea to the youth in Roanoke is to put the guns down.

“These kids picking up these guns they don’t understand what they’re doing. How they’re affecting families,” said White. “Families that they’re shooting as well as their families.”

Last year, Robinson’s classmates applauded as White was presented with her son’s high school diploma.

“That meant a lot just to see his name on a diploma,” explained White. “That made me feel good because I did what I needed to do as a mom.”

Before he died, Robinson was set to become a father. His daughter Alauna turns one on September 29th.

“He has a daughter that he will never get to see grow up,” added White. “She’ll never get to have that father.”

Every day, White wears a necklace with a football and Robinson’s number on it. It says Long Live Number 3.

“We talk about him all the time,” said White. “So, his memory is going to live. As long as I’m alive his memory is going to be alive. And then my kids will carry it as well and his daughter.”

The necklace sits close to her heart, a reminder of the son who will always be in it.