Family of teen killed in mass shooting at Bay St. Louis prom afterparty speaks out

According to his grandmother Jackie Gordon, De'arreis Smith, also known as “Dee,” left his house Saturday night with friends.
Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT
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BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - More details are surfacing about a mass shooting at a prom afterparty in Bay St. Louis that left two dead and four others injured.

One of the victims has been identified as Pearlington native De’Arreis Smith.

According to his grandmother Jackie Gordon, Smith, also known as “Dee,” left his house Saturday night with friends who were attending a Bay High prom afterparty. “He was a good kid, and for this to happen, I have no words for that,” said Gordon.

She received a call early Sunday morning from the hospital.

“About 1:30 in the morning, that’s when I got the call that he had gotten shot,” she added. “When they said he got shot, I asked how he got shot, what happened.”

Police say 19-year-old Cameron Brand opened fire at the party, hitting Smith and 5 others. Smith’s grandmother says when she arrived at the hospital, one teen told her he saw when her grandson got shot.

“The young man said the bullet passed him . . . he thought De’Arreis had ducked the guy out of the way, but when he looked down, De’Arreis was on the ground, he had gotten hit.”

Smith was shot in the back of the head. Paramedics rushed him to a hospital in New Orleans. His grandmother says they stopped in Slidell to stabilize him.

“He could not talk — he was unresponsive. His head was wrapped up, he had tubes all in him, but he couldn’t talk. He did not know I was there.”

According to Gordon, Smith was pronounced dead at around 7 a.m. She tells WLOX it’s a moment his grandma will never forget.

“It was terrible. I did not want to leave him. That’s the hardest part, leaving him at the hospital.”

Smith had finished classes at Hancock High last year and was anticipating graduating this May. He loved music and was enrolling in the military.

Gordon says she’s telling De’Arreis’ story because she wants to spread awareness on gun violence.

“I don’t want it to be swept under the rug. I don’t want to say I don’t want justice for De’Arreis, but I want accountability, because justice would be him being here with me.”

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