DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly three years after 9-year-old Z’yon Person was shot and killed, the man who fired the gun has been found guilty on three charges, an official with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greensboro told CBS 17 Thursday night.
The shooting has been on the minds of many Durham officials and residents since the night of August 18, 2019. That Sunday night, around 9 p.m., Z’yon was in a car with his family on the way to get ice cream when a man opened fire on the vehicle near the intersection of North Duke and Leon streets.
The suspect was determined to be Antonio Nathaniel Davenport Jr., a 24-year-old at the time who prosecutors said is a known gang member with a pattern of violence against women and children. Davenport is also a local rapper who has published music online under the name “Lil Tony”.
Police said a burgundy Honda Accord with tinted windows had pulled alongside the family’s Ford Escape when Davenport fired multiple shots into the SUV.
Davenport wasn’t the only one facing charges for the fatal shooting.
A fellow member of the “Eight Trey Gangster Crips” street gang, Dival Nygee Magwood, also faced charges from that night, according to an indictment. Unsealed court documents discovered in 2021 said the actions of Magwood and Davenport that night were “for the purpose of maintaining an increased position” within the gang.
The court documents also said the pair “unlawfully and knowingly murdered, and aided and abetted” the murder of 9-year-old Z’yon.
Another young boy, Z’yon’s 8-year-old cousin, was also struck by gunfire in his arm but survived his injuries after treatment at a nearby hospital.
Both boys were taken to the hospital that night by a private vehicle, where Z’yon succumbed to his injuries.
Davenport Jr. and Magwood were each charged with the murder of Person, discharging a firearm and use of a firearm in furtherance of racketeering resulting in death, the court documents said. These charges were sealed until early February 2021, prosecutors told CBS 17.
Davenport’s near 3-year journey through the court system landed him a guilty verdict on federal murder, gun and racketeering charges by a jury on Thursday.
Now, at age 27, Davenport awaits his sentencing hearing that is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 26.