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Knoxville mom still looking for justice 3 years after her daughter's murder

Jessie Roberts died in 2019 waiting at a drive-thru of a Krystal in North Knoxville after a stray bullet from The Vibe nightclub hit her.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Three years after her daughter, Jessie Roberts, was shot and killed while waiting in a Krystal drive-thru, Charlene Roberts is asking for justice. 

"We haven't even started our process of grieving because we're still so busy trying to fight for justice," Charlene said. 

The Knoxville Police Department said the shots came from the area in front of The Vibe nightclub in North Knoxville, about 500 feet from the Krystal drive-thru on Broadway. 

Investigators said Jessie died from her injuries at UT Medical Center. 

"One bullet killed her," Charlene said. 

Jessie's son, Preston Roberts, now 10 years old, still remembers his time with his mother, cut short by a shooter still to be found.

"I would hug her every time when I woke up," Preston said.  

For his last birthday, Preston asked for a Build-A-Bear with his mom's voice inside. The bear has a recording of a conversation between Preston and Jessie. 

"I wanted to get this because it'll remind me of my mama," Preston said. "It could remind me of her every day when I wake up."

Preston and Charlene want justice for Jessie. 

"There were a lot of people there that seen it and people don't want to speak up, but we really need justice," Charlene said. 

KPD spokesperson Scott Erland said cases are difficult to solve without witnesses coming forward.

"We know with absolute certainty that there were dozens of eyewitnesses on the scene," said KPD spokesperson Scott Erland in an email to 10News. "As of today, only one person has come forward with information." 

KPD said it is still pursuing active leads, 3 years later. 

The East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers has highlighted Jessie Roberts's death. It asks anyone with information to submit tips online or on the phone. The Crime Stoppers do not collect any personal information. All tips are submitted anonymously. The Crime Stoppers collects tips and offer rewards that lead to arrests for crimes committed in Knoxville, regardless of whether the organization highlights them. 

In 2019, Knox County Judge Bob McGee ordered The Vibe nightclub closed after fights, disturbances, and two fatal shootings.

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