Local News

Reward, questions remain a year after man's death

Posted September 16, 2016 9:38 p.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2016 11:15 p.m. EDT

— A year after his death and almost two years after Dwight “DJ” Dewayne Grayer was shot while sitting in his car, his parents and law enforcement are still looking for answers.

"It's been a tough year and a half," father Dwight Grayer said on Friday.

"He gave me a kiss and he was gone," mother Annette Grayer recalled.

DJ Grayer was in his burgundy Chevrolet Impala with a friend at a stoplight at Durham's North Duke Street and Horton Road on Jan. 4, 2015, when a gray vehicle pulled alongside them and someone in that car fired several shots.

"They shot him. They just shot him, that's all we know," Annette Grayer said.

Durham police have only a vague description of the men in the gray car.

Shot in the head, DJ Grayer didn't die that night. He survived the immediate aftermath, when doctors told his parents he wouldn't make it through the night. And he survived rehab and a series of surgeries.

"We didn't leave his side. I stayed home from work when he came home. I stayed with him the whole time," Annette Grayer said.

She mother said he was on the road to recovery when, on Sept. 14, 2015, during the last of many surgeries, he suffered a catastrophic stroke.

His parents took him off life support two days later.

"It's been testing," Dwight Grayer said. "Your faith gets tested. Everything gets tested when a tragedy like this happens that's so unexpected."

On July 16, DJ's birthday, the Grayers released balloons in their son's memory. They say at one point, all the balloons came together to form a heart before flying away.

The Grayers say while healing will take time, finding out who is responsible for their son's death will help. To that end, Crime Stoppers offered a reward of up to $2,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police at 919-560-4440, ext. 29320 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

"Somebody needs to come forward and let the Durham Police Department know, if they know anything, just let them know and let justice be served," Dwight Grayer said.