Troubled Teen Charged with Killing his Mother

A memorial for Tihesha Savage across the street from her home Thursday. VIDUR MALIK/Bronx Ink

As neighbors and community members tried to make sense of the shocking death of Tihesha Savage on Thursday, they provided more details about the youngster charged with her murder – her son, Darwin Jackson.

Jackson, 16, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of weapons after police found his mother’s body in a plastic bin across the street from their home at 1447 Macombs Road in the Bronx on Wednesday morning.

A security camera showed Jackson moving the garbage bin across the street. During a later police interrogation at the 44th Precinct, police said the young man confessed to shooting and killing his mother.

The New York Daily News reported the grisly details of the death included in the criminal complaint.

Shock was the prevailing theme among people who knew the family, as they struggled to understand the tragic circumstances of her death. Savage, who also had a younger daughter, was described as a quiet person and a devoted mother who kept to herself. She could be seen taking her daughter to school in the morning and bringing her back in the afternoon.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Walter Collier, 59, one of Savage’s neighbors, who said she lived in the building for 16 years. “She was such a nice, easygoing person.”

The picture of her son, and accused killer, however, was shrouded by a layer of confusion. According to those who knew him, Jackson was quiet and moody. He seemed to constantly be bothered by something, though no one could pinpoint what his trouble was.

Naiquon Mackey, 17, has known Jackson for almost a decade. When they were younger, Jackson was more cheerful, but as he grew older, he became more serious.

“He changed into a private person,” Mackey said. “He never wanted to be around anybody.”

Residents lit candles and wrote handwritten messages as part of the memorial for Tihesha Savage. VIDUR MALIK/ Bronx Ink

Mackey said he heard from others that Jackson was getting into trouble and fighting, but did not see the teen commit any transgressions firsthand.

Jackson participated in basketball clinics at the Latino Pastoral Action Center on West 170th street and would go to Sanctuary Church there with his mother.

Jackson also seemed to be bothered at the basketball clinics, which he attended infrequently for about two years, according to Victor Crespo, 31, the coach of the LPAC Knights basketball team. Crespo said he did not talk to Jackson often and that he seemed fine certain times, but could also be irritable and would get angry at himself if he made mistakes during the clinics.

“At times he would lash out, get upset, at times he was a regular kid,” Crespo said.

Savage began going to the church in Fall 2007, but stopped attending regularly a year later. She was part of the 125-member Reform Pentecostal church for six years in total, according to Julio Rivera, chaplain of LPAC and deacon of the church.

Rivera said he would ask Savage if she would consider returning to the church, and that she would say she would return and request a prayer. He said he last saw her in January or February, and that they talked about her return to the church.

“I asked her when she was going to come back to the church and she said, ‘One of these days,’” Rivera said.

Rivera said he had not seen Jackson for about three of four years and that he heard Jackson would misbehave, but did not know of any serious trouble he got into when he was younger.

Rivera said he would speak with the church’s senior pastor Raymond Rivera about conducting a memorial at the church.

Crespo said he could sense a difference in the congregation members who knew Savage after the news of her death.


He said they were quieter and, like her neighbors, he talked about a lingering state of shock.

“You don’t think it’s going to hit so close to home,” Crespo said.

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