For Adrienne and Norman Brown, the last five months have been a nightmare.
“I can't sleep, my hair has thinned, I’m losing weight,” said Adrienne Mills. “It's just horrible. It's horrible.”
Their only son, 22-year-old, Cornelius Donte Brown was killed after answering the door in his La Mesa apartment on April 24.
“I was told you know that they had a little get-together,” said Brown. “And maybe eight to 10 people were at there, his, apartment. All of them were Navy with the exception of maybe one or two, three at the most. [Someone knocked and] he went to the door and was shot and killed.”
Witnesses inside the apartment at the time of the shooting told police that two men wearing ski masks and black sweatshirts were behind the shooting.
“Donte was a well-liked young man,” said Norman Brown, his father. “It is just terribly hard to believe that someone would take his life.
Brown was an active-duty U.S. Navy Sailor stationed at Naval Base Coronado. He was a third-class petty officer on the USS Abraham Lincoln and had been on the ship since 2018.
He was a former basketball star and his parents described him as outgoing, caring, and loved by everyone.
“Donte was destined to be a very successful man and someone came along and took it,” said his father.
Now, five months later, the family says they are no closer to knowing who did this or why. But they are convinced there is someone out there with information about his killer.
“I would ask they would come forward and bring closure to this family,” said his father. “Yes, it's been a long time but I just don't want this to be another black man killed and the killer goes free."
His family making an emotional plea for tips as they look for justice and hope for closure.
NBC 7 reached out to La Mesa Police Department for an update on the investigation and police said they are actively investigating and following up on leads regarding Brown's murder. They were unable to release any information at this time.