Talented, ambitious, and hardworking, engineering student Aaron 'AJ' Sutton, 19, had his whole life ahead of him

By K.C. Baker
June 08, 2020 01:08 PM
Aaron James 'AJ' Sutton
| Credit: Family Photo

A promising engineering student who dreamed of a music career and rapped about how he was “taking flight” from the dangers of the city streets was shot and killed in Baltimore while sitting in a car with a friend, say police.

On May 28, at about 11:27 p.m., police were sent to the 5600 block of Wayne Ave. in the city’s Northwest District, to investigate a shooting, according to a statement from the Baltimore Police Department.

“When officers arrived at the location, they observed two men suffering from gunshot wounds seated inside of a vehicle,” say Baltimore Police. “Both had succumbed to their injuries.”

One of the victims was identified as Aaron James Sutton, 19, the Baltimore Police confirms to PEOPLE.

Aaron James "AJ" Sutton
| Credit: Facebook

The second victim was identified as Oz Shiheed Tatum, 21, according to the Baltimore Police.

Police are still looking for the suspect or suspects in the double murder – and a possible motive.

"He accomplished a lot and could have accomplished so much,” Chanel Blowe, his oldest sister, told The Baltimore Sun.

Enrolled in the College of Engineering, Sutton was just finishing his freshman year at Howard University in Washington, D.C. when he was killed, his sister told The Sun.

"It just looked like the sky was the limit for him, and then this happens," Blowe told local station WBAL-TV. "We weren't prepared. This is a nightmare."

An aspiring rapper who debuted his first music video under the name #A100, Sutton wrote the prescient lyrics, “Living here you got to fight. You will be lucky to survive, also live past 25, also make it out alive, but I’m out here taking flight.”

On the GoFundMe account set up to help defray Sutton's funeral costs, his devastated family wrote, “AJ, as he was affectionately known, was a charismatic, brilliant, driven, young man. He was extremely talented; he was exceptional in music, dance, and art."

Not only was he gifted in the arts, they wrote, "but his creativity carried over into being innovative, inventive, and mathematically gifted. As a result, he had a great deal of knowledge and intellect that allowed him to excel in his studies to pursue an engineering degree at Howard University." 

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Calling Sutton "a family man," his loved ones wrote, "He was extremely protective, caring and loving when it came to his mother, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends."

Sutton got a job at a local Amazon warehouse when the coronavirus outbreak ended his on-campus classes.

The last time Wanda Sutton saw her son alive was on May 28, when he got home from his job, ate dinner, and then went out, his recalled to The Sun.

She told the newspaper she worried every time her son left the house.

“I’m just scared every time my son leaves the house because of the violence in Baltimore," she said.

Now, she said, “My fear is realized.

“He was really just a wonderful young man," his sister told The Sun. “We won’t get to see his potential and what he would’ve done for others."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Homicide detectives at 410-396-2100. Those who wish to remain anonymous can utilize the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line, at 1-866-7LOCKUP.