Mother mourns the loss of her only son

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham mother is grieving the loss of her only child after he was stabbed and killed at a downtown nightclub.

21-year old Kelvin Felder died at UAB hospital from his wounds.

Felder was leaving Jacksonville State University to head off and join the Air Force this week. His mother, Tomeka Sims, says he was celebrating that decision Saturday night when his life was cut tragically short.

Felder was a little league coach after graduating from Clay-Chalkville High School and went to JSU to play football before a neck injury cut his career short. He decided to join the Air Force and was out for a final night of fun Saturday before heading off to training when he talked to his mom for the last time around 10pm Saturday night. Tomeka sims says she asked her son if he would be at church Sunday to celebrate his grandfather's birthday.

"I said 'don't let me down and don't stay up too late," Sims said. "And he said 'ma, I won't,' he always had that little smile and he said 'ma, I won't. I'm gonna be there.' I said 'you promise?' He said 'Ma, I'm not gonna let you down, I'm gonna be up before you in the morning."

But a few hours later, Felder was stabbed at Club Zen, 2025 Morris Avenue. His mom says an older man picked a fight with her son and she's been told her son got the better of the fight before the suspect pulled a knife and stabbed him. Tomeka Sims says she has questions about what happened.

"How did that guy get in there with a knife?" Sims asked. "He came in there for trouble. My son went out for fun, to celebrate him leaving trying to protect everybody in this country, and this is what he gets. He was stabbed several times."

This is the 2nd murder at that location in the last 2 years. In June 2007, a man was stabbed to death outside what was then known as "The Station", 2 others were wounded.

Now the mother of the latest murder victim says she is going to do everything she can to prevent another tragedy.

"I don't want another parent to go through what I'm going through right now," Sims said. "You gotta remember, this is my only child. Because what I feel now, I feel like I've been stabbed, too, because my heart is gone."

Birmingham Police say the suspect in Kelvin Felder's murder turned himself in at the South Precinct not long after the incident and is in custody awaiting charges.

Funeral arrangments for Kelvin Felder are still pending.