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Mother honors slain son with foundation that helps at-risk youth

'That day that I heard my son was murdered, my life turned upside down'
Berta Leslie
Posted at 4:51 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 17:26:27-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach mother whose son was killed by gun violence almost two years ago is talking about her effort to conquer gun violence and senseless killings in the community.

Berta Leslie’s son, Travis D. Leslie Sr., was shot and crashed his vehicle at the intersection of Australian Ave. and Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. on June 10, 2020.

“Travis was a unique person. Very playful. Smart. Silly,” said Berta Leslie. "Always like to laugh and make you laugh.”

Leslie Sr., was the father of three young children. He was Berta's youngest child and would always call her ‘Ma’.

“He would always say, Ma, I’m going to do better. I am going to take care of you. I am going to make sure you don’t have to work hard,” said Leslie. “And, that day that I heard my son was murdered, my life turned upside down.”

West Palm Beach Police detectives said that Leslie Sr., was targeted. No arrests have been made since the day of the crime. Leslie Sr. died at the hospital.

“The pain of knowing that he died and I didn’t get to say, Travis I love you, which he already knew, because mothers we protect our children. I am like God where do I go from here. I didn’t want to live. I said God, why didn’t they kill me, you know? Travis had his three kids to live for,” said Leslie.

Through her pain and her faith, Berta said she built the strength to forgive and found a renewed passion. She started the ‘Travis Donte Leslie Senior Foundation’ in honor of her son. It provides mentorship and education support for at-risk youth. But most of all, she hopes it will put an end to gun violence in the city.

“Our childrens' lives are being taken at a young age,” said Leslie. “We need to have an uproar in us and say you know what, let’s stop this. We gotta make sure they stop this and the only way we can do it, if we unite. We have to come together, on one accord.”

Anyone who has any information that could help police solve this case, is asked to call West Palm Beach police department, or you can remain anonymous by calling Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers. 1-800-458-8477.