Shot to death

Francis Scott Walker Jr. had a plan -- finish college, become an accountant, and start helping out his mom, a dedicated single parent who raised her children to work hard and valued education.

Around 12:15 yesterday morning, that plan came to a tragic end after Walker was shot to death while parking his 1992 Pontiac Bonneville on a street in Elizabeth, a short distance from his home

Police said there is no evidence this was a car theft or robbery attempt, and speculate the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Michelle Walker said she remembers bursting with pride when her only son graduated in 2006 from the Union County Adult Vocational-Technical School. Yesterday, she could barely contain her grief as she described the horrific scene where she held her 20-year-old dying son in her arms.

"He was barely breathing when I got there," Michelle Walker said as tears rolled down her face. "I held him and told him he was going to be all right, and I thought I heard him say something, but I knew my baby was dying."

Francis Walker was treated by paramedics and taken to Trinitas Hospital with a single gunshot wound to the torso. He was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m., police said.

Walker, a student at the Elizabeth campus of Union County College who also worked at Federal Express, had been out to a fast food restaurant with two friends and his cousin, Sharif Hawk. Walker briefly stopped at his home on Broadway before driving to Hawk's girlfriend's house on South Park Street, where they planned to play cards. Then tragedy struck.

"He dropped the three of us off and said he was going to park the car. Not 45 seconds later we heard gunshots," said Hawk, 23.

Hawk and the friends dashed back outside and heard the engine of Walker's car racing, as if the accelerator was stuck. They found the car in the middle of the road, with Francis Walker slumped over the steering wheel."They shot him right through the window of his car," he said

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