“It was June 2, 2015, and at the Boys and Girls Club of Hoboken where I am the director, we had all dressed in orange in recognition of Gun Violence Awareness Day," Gibson recalls.
"Two days later, my son, Darcel Rivers, was shot to death.”
Nearly six years later, Gibson is still seeking answers.
Rivers, age 35, was visiting Jersey City from Rhode Island -- where he was in culinary school -- when he was shot and killed, just a few steps from his mom's house.
Police got a call around 3:45 a.m. June 4, 2015, of an unresponsive man lying on the sidewalk in front of 117 Fulton Ave., Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.
There, Rivers was found bleeding from his head with an apparent gunshot wound, Suarez said.
Rivers was transported to the Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 4:15 a.m.
The cause of death was determined to be from a gunshot wound and the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
“Darcel was a big clown – that was my clown – the way he would make me laugh," Gibson said.
"He was a good person and he loved to be around kids.
"He always wanted to be a chef and that was one of his dreams he accomplished before he was taken from us. He did it and I am always going to proud of him."
Rivers was the first one of Gibson's kids to call her on her birthday and on Mother's Day -- both at 4:30 a.m., she said.
"He said, ‘I am the one that made you a mother, so I gotta be the first one to call you’ and that was one of his traditions every year,” Gibson said.
While she has personally taken the loss very hard, Rivers' four children -- Zaire Rivers, 18, Zyla Rivers, 10, Zakie Rivers, 8, and Zaria Rivers, 7 -- have been especially impacted with the loss of their father.
“I want to tell whoever did this: ‘You took a very beloved father away from his kids. He enjoyed life – he would never take a life. The person who did this, how does that sit on your conscious?’” Gibson said.
“We just want to know who did this and why? Why? Anybody who has info we would be so grateful. His kids need closure, so please just think about them.”
“I am hoping someone out there who has information will have a heart and will do the right thing."
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit continues to actively investigate this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip.
All information will be kept confidential.
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