Mother of teen barber says her son tried to call, warn her about shooting before he died

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police are still trying to find the person who shot and killed a 17-year old barber outside the barbershop he owned.

They found 17-year old Anthony “China” McClain near the River Station Shopping Center in College Park.

“It hasn’t hit me yet. However, my child had a short life. He didn’t have a long life, but he had a full, good life. Never saw him sad, never saw him angry,” said McClain’s mother, Norma Huff.

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Still grieving, Norma Huff didn’t want to show her face on camera, but is opening up to Channel 2′s Larry Spruill for the first time since her son was shot and killed.

“Nothing was too hard for him to accomplish, anything that he set his mind to. The barber that sits next to him used to always joke and say ‘China, you can’t be great at everything, pick one thing.’”

Huff said McClain was a barber at the shop and part owner. They co-owned the business together.

Meanwhile, outside, a small memorial of flowers, teddy bears and candles started to grow in his memory. Huff is taking Channel 2 through the moments when she learned the news.

“I had been here for the majority of the day, and I left 10 minutes prior to me getting the first phone call.”


It’s a phone call no mother wants to get.

“The first call was from one of my barbers. He told me that something tragic had happened in the shop, and that I needed to get here,” said Huff.

Shortly after that, she got a second call from another barber as she was heading back.

“I said, ‘Please tell me, is it my child? He said ‘Yes it is,’” said Huff.

Police said there was a commotion outside the barber shop when someone started shooting during an argument.

Huff said her son was walking out of the shop at the same time when he was hit, as an innocent bystander.

“I’m almost 99% sure that he went outside to give me a call to tell me that something was going on,” said Huff.

Channel 2 learned that some stray bullets also hit the front window of the grocery store next door. Spruill also talked to McClain’s godfather, Hakeem Walker.

“It didn’t make sense. I was shocked. I was hurt. I was mad. All kind of emotions were going through me,” Walker said.

Walker said the gun violence has to stop.

“I’m not sure how to do it, but something has to be done. It’s so sad that people and even the younger people are dying at the hands of gun violence.”

Meanwhile, Huff is trying to start the healing process.

“I don’t know where to go from here. Just one day at a time,” said Huff.

A vigil will be held for McClain Monday night at 7 p.m.