CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Five years after her only son was shot to death in east Charlotte, Beverly Byrd is begging for help to find the killer.

It's really, really hard, she said tearfully at a press conference Saturday at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters. I'm having a difficult time today -- a really difficult time.

A gunman shot Eric Byrd to death in what police say was an attempted robbery. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Byrd was with three friends who had gone to buy marijuana at the Lake Point Apartments off Albemarle Road.

According to police, the gunman robbed the car s driver and then tried to rob the other three men in the car, including Eric, who was then 22. When the men refused, the gunman opened fire killing Eric and wounding the other two men.

None of them recognized their attacker. Byrd believes someone knows who the gunman is.

For no one to come forth,-- because I know people know what happened out there -- is hurtful, said Byrd.

Byrd said she believes her son was set up because he was excited about having a good job and liked to carry cash.

The case is now in the hands of two cold-case detectives, who will concentrate only on finding killers in Eric s case and one other. The two cases were chosen from 20 - 25 unsolved murders in the department s files.

There are potential suspects in the case, but we need just a little bit of help from somebody out there who might know a little bit more about it, that would be beneficial to us in clearing the case, said Det. Bill Ward.

Byrd has become a crime victims advocate since her son s death, taking a seat on the board of the homicide victims support group and researching on her own how the Crimestoppers program works.

She is begging for anyone who knows anything about her son s murder to call the hotline to leave their anonymous tip.

And she even has a message for the gunman himself: I hope someday, somewhere, you find peace, she wept. But the only way you're going to find that peace is to confess your crime, clear your conscience -- if you have one.

The number for Crimestoppers is 704-334-1600. The calls are routed to a service center outside the area, said Byrd, and the caller doesn t need to give a name.

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