"They gonna kill somebody else if you don't": Murder victim's uncle tells people to speak up

Family members prayed and looked to each other for support as they remembered 23-year-old D'Ante Washington. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Family members prayed and looked to each other for support as they remembered 23-year-old D'Ante Washington. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It was a solemn night in Bay St. Louis Friday as friends and family of D'Ante Washington came together to remember him at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The 23-year-old died two days after being shot in that same park on June 6.

Wearing red, which was D'Ante's favorite color, his loved ones laughed and cried together, reminiscing on times they spent with him, sharing memories, and recalling the many things they loved about him. They also bowed their heads together, praying for comfort, peace, and justice.

D'Ante's grandmother Thelma Washington said her grandson was humble and laid back.

"I lost my first born grandchild," she said. "He got a son, 19-month-old. Sunday is Father's Day and he's not here to celebrate it with his son... I'm hoping that they can stop the violence, put the guns down and let everyone get along with everyone."

"You took my nephew from me," said D'Ante's uncle John Legier Jr. "I can't hold him no more. I can't talk to him no more, but I forgive you. And I'm hoping that somewhere, I'm talking to the one who pulled the trigger and those that want to have revenge. Stop it man. Let it go."

Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre also attended the vigil for D'Ante, along with Police Chief Gary Ponthieux Jr. Authorities are still investigating the shooting, which left a second man injured, as well. Both the mayor and police chief, along with D'Ante's family, put out heartfelt pleas, asking anyone with information about the shooting to speak up.

"They gonna kill somebody else if you don't say something," Legier Jr. "Let these people arrest them. Let them stand before their judge. They are going to kill somebody else."

In the meantime, those closest to D'Ante are still trying to come to terms with his violent death as they try to move forward and honor his life.

"(D'Ante) told me to do him proud to make him proud and that's all he wanted," said one family member. "And I do want to say that I"m doing just that. I got accepted into the military today and I will do everything I can to make him proud."

D'Ante's funeral service will be held Saturday at noon at First Baptist Church in Kiln. He leaves behind a wife and an one-year-old son.

No arrests have been made yet but police said they are following up on every lead. If you have any information that can help put D'Ante's shooter behind bars, please call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898. You also leave tips online or text them in by visiting Crime Stoppers website. Anonymous tips are also welcome.

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