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Fairmont police say teen's death gang-related

Posted March 27, 2013

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— People gathered in the Robeson County community of Fairmont on Wednesday night to remember a teen who was gunned down in what police call an act of gang violence.

DaQuan "Mucci" Stephens, 16, was playing basketball at Calvin Haggins Park on Linden Street last Friday afternoon when another 16-year-old boy approached and shot him repeatedly at close range, police said.

"I wish I could have been there. They didn't have to do him like that," his sobbing mother, Sylvia Stephens, said Wednesday.

Flowers and balloons now mark the spot where DaQuan Stephens died.

The suspected gunman, Jerod Kutree McNeill, of Lumberton, is a known gang member, Fairmont Police Chief Danny Parker said.

Investigators were still searching for McNeill and two others charged in the case. McNeill, who faces a charge of first-degree murder, is considered armed and dangerous.

Parker said he believes a carload of people followed DaQuan Stephens to the park on Friday. One of the people in the car even had her 2 year-old child with her, he said.

McNeill planned the attack, Parker said, noting that he "enticed the others to be involved."

"It’s devastating for the community. We’ve got 16-year-olds just beginning to live their life. It’s sad," he said.

DaQuan Stephens memorial Teen was gunned down while playing basketball

Fairmont received a grant in 2007 to help combat gang violence. The money was used to hire a gang investigator for the police department, and several violent gang members were later convicted and imprisoned.

Parker said the town had a big problem with gang-related crime, particularly robberies, at the time.

“I don’t think it’s as bad as it was back in 2007, but it certainly is still present,” he said. "Every community is affected somehow or another by some form or type of gang activity."

Sylvia Stephens said she has no reason to believe her son, a Fairmont High School student, was part of a gang.

"I tried to guide him in the right way," she said.

In addition to McNeill, police are searching for Julius Rogers, 20, of Fairmont, and Bobby Deshawn Jones, 19, of Lumberton. Both face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Shinaha Nashae Grissett, 22, of Fairmont, the driver of the car, and Natasha Deshawn Owens, 23, of Lumberton, are already in the Robseon County jail on the same charges.

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  • btneast Mar 28, 10:12 a.m.

    One would think that some of these boys were old enough to know better.

    You don't know much about gangs and the culture they feed off of it seems. You have to be taught to know better.....

  • justabumer Mar 27, 7:28 p.m.

    The mother doesn't believe that her son was in a gang? Perhaps the gang signs on his facebook page would be a hint that he might be.

  • ims1924 Mar 27, 7:20 p.m.

    The story says that one occupant of the car had her two year child with her. Now we know why these young children grow up to be so violent. I have always said that it is the fault of the parents.

  • oleguy Mar 27, 5:45 p.m.

    DP and dont waste time doing it, Make a big example out of these punks

  • LovemyPirates Mar 27, 5:39 p.m.

    Sadly, if mom has been there, she, too would likely have been killed.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Mar 27, 5:37 p.m.

    One would think that some of these boys were old enough to know better.