By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Corey Brandon took 15-year-old Braylon Gannon under his wing, giving him a job and mentoring him at his tire shop in West Baltimore. He hired Gannon last summer at the request of Braylon’s mom, a friend since childhood.

“She brought him down here to me and said, ‘Corey, put my son to work, keep him off the streets,’” Brandon told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren.

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Braylon was supposed to be working last Saturday morning. But just hours earlier, he was shot in the head multiple times.

A passerby found him in an alley in the 2400-block of West Lafayette Avenue, less than a mile away from the tire shop. There is now an $8,000 reward in the case.

“It was heartbreaking because he’s a good kid, not in the street, was working. Quite naturally, when I found out, it really hit me. It stung me. It was something that—it hurt me because I looked at him like one of my grandkids,” Brandon said. “Someone who’s just so young, had his whole life ahead of him, it’s tragic. The streets are eating our young fellas up. They don’t care what the age is now. There’s so much young violence going on. Kids-on-kids over nothing. It’s sad.”

WJZ’s investigation found it took four hours and 25 minutes between the time Gannon was shot and when police found him.

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A source said the shooting was caught on camera and that one person, walking with the teen, dropped back before opening fire. Then another person, who was hiding, shot Gannon again when he was on the ground.

“He didn’t deserve what happened to him, Brandon said. “He brought a smile to everybody’s face. Never disrespectful. None of that. Good kid,” Brandon recalled.

He said Gannon was the typical teenager. “When we’d get busy, he’d find a way to disappear, get on that phone. When I’m looking for him, he’s in the bathroom,” Brandon said with a laugh. “‘Come on Braylon, get off that phone, boy!’ But he really was a hard worker. He learned a lot. He’s going to be missed.”

And his mom lost her only child. “How can you fathom that? Only son. It’s just him and her. It’s crushing her. It’s hurting. It was her only son.”

It comes as the city is seeing a rise in shootings. Almost 250 people have been shot so far this year, and the police department is down more than 350 officers.

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Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told the city council this week the department is seeing “critical shortages” in every area of the department.