A North Carolina father and his infant son were fatally shot in what authorities called a “senseless act of violence.”
Darion and Da’Mari McClendon were shot outside their home on Morrow Avenue between South Church and Maurice streets on May 29, Monroe Police said. Family members said the 25-year-old father was sitting on the porch with his four-month-old infant when they were killed. They had recently returned home from a picnic.
The two were confirmed dead at the scene.
Bullet holes were seen inside a house, as well as some cars parked in front of their house on May 30.
“My cousin lost her baby and her boyfriend,” a relative, who called Darion “Debo,” told news reporters. “Debo wasn’t a bad guy. Debo went to work, they had just went to the park with my kids and their baby.”
The unnamed woman had children inside the residence–a nine-year-old and 11-year-old–when shots rang out, and although they were physically unharmed, they told police they were traumatized by the incident.
“My nephew, he is a baby. He [doesn’t] even know how to do anything for himself,” Darion’s sister, Jasmine McClendon, said. She also described her brother as her “best friend.”
“That was my best friend. That was my dog. We have the same daddy that we just lost a few years ago, so that’s the only thing I have left of him,” Jasmine continued. “And now it’s just me and my two other sisters… I’m hurt. I really just want answers. I really just want my brother and my nephew to have justice.”
The North Carolina man’s relatives added that he left behind another son, who is just two years old. His girlfriend said Baby Da’Mari was a happy child that loved Mickey Mouse.
“This is a very difficult time for our community and our officers in the face of this senseless act of violence,” Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard said. “We are committed to bringing the perpetrator of this crime to justice. If anyone has any information, please come forward. We need people in the community to help us in this process.”
The MPD is currently offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest.