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'He was big on family': Man shot and killed in Charlottesville moments after taking his daughter to park

DeQwane Brown spent Tuesday evening with his 6-year-old daughter. They had dinner together and played at the park before he dropped her off at her mother’s house.

"He dropped her off," his sister, Teryn Barbour, told The Daily Progress. "An hour later, he was gone."

Brown was killed Tuesday night sitting in his car near the near the intersection of Rosser Avenue and 12th Street in Charlottesville’s Venable neighborhood. He was 31 years old.

Barbour said her brother, who was nicknamed Buck, was more than likely enjoying some food in his car when he was attacked.

Police radio chatter paints a grim picture of the scene officers discovered after they were dispatched around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"You can advise rescue that the subject has several gunshot wounds to the head," an officer can be heard telling the dispatcher. "He’s alive as of right now, but I don’t how long that’s going to be for."

Barbour and Brown’s two other sisters traveled to Charlottesville from Norfolk as soon as they heard the news.

"We drove two and a half hours in the middle of the night just to view our brother’s body," Barbour said.

While he may have been their brother, the sisters said that when they think of Brown they think of him as a father figure, a man who cared deeply for his children and theirs.

"He was big on family," his oldest sister, Kiara Beckett, told The Daily Progress. "He always encouraged all his nieces and nephews to get together."

Beckett said that one of her brother’s favorite activities was taking the children to Jump, an indoor trampoline park.

"He definitely made sure he was always there for his kids," Barbour said.

Barbour said her brother grew up in Norfolk and was raised by his grandmother. He moved to Charlottesville because that’s where his two daughters live, she said.

"He didn’t always have a mom and dad," said Barbour, "but that didn’t stop him from being a father."

At the time of his death, she said her brother was eagerly awaiting the birth of his third child, a boy.

"We just wish we could turn back time," she said.

In his professional life, Brown held several different jobs: working in a nursing home, a movie theater and Trump Winery just south of Charlottesville. Beckett said her brother had just started to pursue his commercial driver’s license to drive big rigs, and earn big money, for his children.

"That was a dream," she said. "He just wanted something that in the long run would help better take care of them."

Brown’s death has been ruled the first homicide case in the city of Charlottesville this year.

Brown did have a criminal record and recently spent time behind bars after a pair of drug convictions and several parole violations. But his sisters contend that he had found a new life in fatherhood before he was killed.

"He was just sitting in the car eating," said Barbour. "I just really want justice."

Charlottesville police are urging anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact the police department at (434) 970-3280 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at (434) 977-4000.

"It’s still a very active investigation," said police spokesman Kyle Ervin. "The people in the neighborhood have been a big help."

Brown’s death has rocked his entire family, but it has hit Barbour especially hard: Brown was killed on her birthday.

"April 9 will never be the same," she said. "It’s really tragic, because he was really trying to be on the right path."


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