A young father and his infant son were fatally shot in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend in what police are calling a “senseless act of violence.”
Just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, Darion McClendon, 25, and his 4-month-old son, Da’mari McClendon, were found dead at a home on Morrow Avenue, WSOC-TV reports. Visible bullet holes could still be seen inside a house, and some of the cars parked in front of the residence on Monday morning.
Darion’s family says they were sitting outside on the front porch after returning from a picnic when the shots rang out.
“They’re just shooting people just to shoot people,” a family member told WBTV.
“This man was cooking on the grill for his family, this man was having a good time with his family, and this is what happened.”
Cops say a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old were also inside the home at the time of the shooting.
Monroe police say Darion McClendon died last night along with his son, Da’mari. We’re using this photo with permission from the family. I’m told Darion leaves behind another son, just two years old. @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/dvQLekA1sI
— Anthony Kustura (@AnthonyWSOC9) May 30, 2022
Darion’s sister, Jasmine McClendon, says the whole family is heartbroken by the disturbing murder.
“My nephew, he is a baby. He don’t even know how to do anything for himself,” Darion’s sister, Jasmine McClendon said.
“That was my best friend; that was my dog,” she continued. “We have the same daddy that we just lost a few years ago, so that’s the only thing I have left of him. And now it’s just me and my two other sisters.”
The family says Darion left behind another son that is just two years old. Darion’s girlfriend said baby Da’Mari was a happy baby who loved Mickey Mouse. Darion, affectionately known as Debo, was said to be a hard-working family man.
“My cousin lost her baby and her boyfriend,” one family member said. “Debo wasn’t a bad guy. Debo went to work; they had just went to the park with my kids and their baby.”
Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“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.”