Hickory mother continues to mourn murdered son as his birthday, Thanksgiving near

“My son was a good person. He was very protective of those he loved,” his mother said.
Michael Tucker's birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year - the first since his passing.
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - A mother’s search for justice continues today, nearly a year after her son was murdered.

Police say 26-year-old Michael Tucker was in a Hickory apartment complex parking lot on Dec. 8, 2021, when someone walked up and shot him while he was sitting in a car. According to his mother, he was targeted.

Now, his is family is pleading for the killer to be caught.

“We don’t know what shape or form or fashion, but God is going to make you pay for murdering my son,” Detra Daniels, Tucker’s mother, said.

It’s a pain no family should ever have to go through, the loss of someone you care about. Holidays are the hardest, but this year Thanksgiving falls on a particularly painful reminder of what Tucker’s family is going through.

One of Daniels’ favorite pictures of her son is memorialized on the wall of her living room.

The same picture also appears on his headstone, along with two dates chiseled in stone. The day of his birth made her the happiest, and the day of his death brought her terrible pain.

“My son was my best friend,” Daniels said. “That was my baby.”

She said she talked with Michael several times a day, but it was the phone call she got from his girlfriend that changed everything.

“And she said, ‘Detra get down her, Mike-Mike got shot,’” Daniels said. “He was ambushed.”

She said her son fell in with the wrong crowd, but there was more to him than that.

“My son was a good person,” his mother said. “He was very protective of those he loved.”

But she said some are mocking his memory. From removing flowers from the gravesite to producing a rap video online detailing the shooting.

“They had made YouTube rap videos and said in the rap videos step-by-step of what happened the night my son got shot,” Daniels said.

This year will be the first Thanksgiving without her son, but she said that’s not the worst part of the day.

“It’s going to be very emotional, because his birthday falls on that day,” she said.

Police said they’re still working to find who is responsible for the shooting, but for each day that passes, his mother’s pain grows.

“They’re still working on the case, they’re still questioning people,” Daniels said. “They were going to treat it if it was one of their own. And it’s going on a year later, and I’m still waiting.”

Daniels said she’s coming to the Southside Cemetery where her son is buried on Thursday to release balloons and remember her best friend.

Related: Hickory parents look for answers after they say their son was ambushed