COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Life moves fast, and before you know it, it could end.
“He was living his life,” Ramsey De La Cruz, co-owner of Modern Barber and Beauty Institute said as he spoke about Rashawn Jones, a 26-year-old who was gunned down inside of his home on Southwest Parkway.
College Station Police are calling the incident a home invasion.
Jones came to De La Cruz earlier last year and asked about the programs they offer at his wife and his Institute.
“Our students are like our kids,” De La Cruz said, through his tears. “I can't fix it. I wish I could, I wish I could fix it for him, but I can't, I can't anymore.”
Jones wanted to be a barber and was working toward a quickly approaching graduation.
“He came in as a young man just trying to find himself,” De La Cruz admitted.
But his life was cut short.
“He had this contagious smile; you're going to smile while you’re around him,” said Dillion Lute, a close friend. “You're going to laugh.”
Lute was Jones’ own barber, and said he would come get his haircut, vent and make everyone around the two smile.
When Jones died, Lute traded in his clippers for paintbrushes.
“A while back, I said I wasn't going to do any more portraits of anyone that was close to me, family or friends,” he said.
Aside from being a barber, Lute is an artist, painting portraits mainly.
He says he paints portraits of those who die, too, so that way their loved ones can have something to remember them by.
“It was heavy. It was really, extremely heavy,” he said, when talking about the process of painting Jones’ face twice on a canvas.
Each stroke, adding more detail to his vibrant friend.
“I wanted to be able to give some to his mom and some to his daughter,” he started. “That's my boy, man. That's my boy,” he ended, looking at the portrait with a slight smile.
That’s why Jones’ loved ones say take life one step at a time.
“Life is too short to hold grudges, life is too short to be mad at anybody, life is too short to feel some kind of way by others,” De La Cruz said. “Love one another, love everybody and I know everybody loved Rashawn.”
“It's crazy that [murder] is almost becoming the norm but it's not normal," Lute explained. "It doesn't hurt until this might be close to you, so before it gets close to you there needs to be some type of awareness going on.”
Dillion Lute is selling prints of his piece on his Facebook page.
There's a lunch benefit to help support the family on January 14, and a GoFundMe was set up to help cover funeral costs.
Here is who the police are still searching for: