TRENTON — Less than a day after his mother was shot to death, a Trenton high school senior still attended his prom, with an emotional send off from friends and family, saying he would do it for her.

Around 4:40 a.m. Sunday, police found 36-year-old Arkeyia Beal, of Trenton, inside a car that had been struck by gunfire several times in the area of Southard and Calhoun Streets, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.

Beal, also known as Keyia on social media, was very public with her praise for her teenage son, Zaire. She had planned a pre-prom gathering and shared the idea on her Facebook page.

After her death, her son re-shared the message.

"I’m still doing it," he wrote. "Only for my mom."

Among photos he posted, was one with his grandmother — he has vowed to help take care of her after his mother's passing.

Trenton teen Zaire Beal with his grandmother before prom (Zaire James Facebook page)

Through the weekend and Monday, he posted more messages of love and grief about his mother. In one, he posted a series of text messages to his deceased mother, begging him to text him back.

"I really miss u like crazy," Zaire wrote. "I never been hurt or anything like this I really love u so much mommy. But like I’m hurt I really can’t believe that u gone before my 18 birthday in two months can’t believe it mommy but i did it for u. I’m going to miss your smile the most ... And i promise i got my sister (and) my grandma."

A GoFund Me campaign also has been created, described as a college fund for the teen. Campaign coordinator Casey Thompson said of Beal in the written description, "He will be graduating high school shortly and be attending The College of Saint Elizabeth. He leaves for a special summer program on June 23."

The shooting death remains under investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office and Trenton Police.

New Jersey 101.5 has not yet been able to reach Zaire directly.


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