2 years later, Z’yon Person’s shooting death still echoes in Durham

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Two years have passed since 9-year-old Z’yon Person was shot and killed riding in a car to get snow cones with family in Durham.

“The way I feel, I miss him so so much,” said Sandra Person, Z’yon’s grandmother. “It’s just so hard to deal with because it’s been two years and it doesn’t even seem like it’s two years.”

The Durham City Council met on the same day Z’yon was killed.

Councilman Mark Anthony Middleton told the council, “I’m challenging my colleagues to come up with a concrete plan and be able to tell the people of this city what our plan is for gun violence, just like we did for bike paths. The planet is dying and we passed a very bold resolution. Children are dead. So what is our plan?”

At the time, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel also told the council, “We have to do everything we can every day to stop this violence.”

But since then, police confirmed to CBS 17 that at least 11 more children have been shot in Durham, including 12-year-old Tyvein McLean, who died after being hit by a stray bullet in 2020.

And two other children were injured by stray bullets while they were sleeping in their beds earlier this year.

CBS 17 asked the mayor and councilman for an interview but have not heard back.

Durham has invested money into violence interrupters, but hasn’t filled every position.

Middleton is pushing the city to install shot spotter technology.

Person wants to see more police patrolling the streets.

“Take the streets back over because the gangs is just taking over the streets,” she said. “It’s like they’re running things and then they’re running people in their house and running kids out of the park.”

Antonio Nathaniel Davenport Jr. and Dival Nygee Magwood have been charged with Z’yon’s murder.

Prosecutors say they were both members of the “Eight Trey Gangster Crips.”

Their trial date has not been set, but Person is hoping for the death penalty.

“The death penalty, I would love that, honest to God,” she said of seeking justice for her grandson. “You took a life, y’all look a life. And why do you think you deserve to live?”

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