ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) — Two months after her son’s murder, Demeka Johnson is pleading for someone to come forward and help police solve the case.
“They have a street code that people like to go by I guess. But, when it’s your family and it’s innocent people that are being killed, there’s no such thing as a street code,” she said.
DeQuan Dickens was 18 when he was shot and killed July 12 at a home on Long Avenue. His family called him “Noot.”
Johnson said she and DeQuan were at the home on her niece’s birthday enjoying time with family when she suddenly heard gunshots. She said 18 people, including babies, were in the house when bullets started coming through the windows.
“That was the worst experience I ever had in my life,” she said. “Everyone was down trying to stay down and make sure everyone was OK. And, that’s when we start finding out that Noot was shot.”
Since then, she says she’s no closer to finding out who did it or why.
“I’m still living but it’s like I’m not. I don’t like doing anything that I used to do. It’s just really hard,” she said. “Then with no understanding, no answers, no reasons why. It’s very hard.”
DeQuan had just graduated high school about a month before the shooting. He had worked at Burger King and planned to enroll in community college in the fall. Eventually, he hoped to transfer to a four-year school and become a kindergarten teacher, or perhaps another career that involved working with young kids.
She also took CBS 17 to Holly Street Park where she said DeQuan and the family would volunteer to help improve the park for the kids in the community.
Johnson kept a binder from when DeQuan was in high school that included a brief essay on what he hoped to accomplish in his life.
“Because my interest is with the smaller children, because they are our future,” he wrote.
His grandmother, Sharron McNeil-Davis, taught at DeQuan’s school and said he only ever got in trouble once for talking too much in class.
“If you’re down and he ever comes around, he’s gonna make sure he makes you smile,” his mom said.
They both said they believe the Rocky Mount Police Department is doing as much as they can to solve the case. However, they worry with the frequency of shootings in the city, the workload is too high.
The same week DeQuan was killed in July another young man, Daniel Pierce, was murdered in a separate shooting. Later that month, Dominic Baker was killed in a shooting on Kinlaw Court. Johnson said Baker had known her family for many years and even came to DeQuan’s funeral days before his own death.
“There doesn’t seem to be enough law enforcement, through no fault of their own, to deal with it,” said McNeil-Davis.
DeQuan shared the middle name Xavier with his uncle, Dexter Johnson. Johnson was murdered in Rocky Mount in 2006 in a shooting that is still unsolved.
“Bad people that like to do bad things and they evidently get a joy of out of doing bad things to harm innocent people,” said Johnson.
She hopes by sharing her family’s story it’ll encourage someone to come forward and help to get justice for her loved ones.
CBS 17 reached out to the Rocky Mount Police Department about DeQuan’s case but did not get a response to questions.
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