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Photos | Friends, family mourn the death of DeQwane Brown in Charlottesville

Family and friends of the late DeQwane Brown gathered last week near the Charlottesville street corner where he was gunned down. They lit candles and released balloons in his memory, but more than that, they grieved, they shared stories and they reflected on the life of a man who cared deeply for his two children and was expecting another.

Charlottesville police reported finding Brown in his vehicle near the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue in Charlottesville’s Venable neighborhood the evening of April 9.

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

“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.”

Brown died at the scene. He was 31 years old.

His death marks the first homicide case this year in the city of Charlottesville. But for Brown’s family, his death is more than a statistic.

According to his sisters Teryn Barbour and Kiara Beckett, Brown had spent the moments before he died with his two daughters, ages 2 and 6, and his pregnant girlfriend. They went to dinner together and played at the park. Brown dropped his daughters off at their mother’s house and parked his car near the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue, where his sisters believe he was taking a moment to enjoy a bit to eat before he was attacked.

They say they will always remember their brother as a family man. Brown had a criminal record and spent some time behind bars on a pair of drug convictions and parole violations, but having children had changed him for the better.

“He definitely made sure he was always there for his kids,” Barbour told The Daily Progress shortly after his death.

And not just his own offspring, her sister added, Brown always made sure he was there for all of their children too.

“He was big on family,” Beckett told The Daily Progress. “He always encouraged all his nieces and nephews to get together.”

On the evening of April 10, 24 hours after his body was found, the family that Brown always made time for made time for him.

Dozens gathered near the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue where Brown was killed. It was a brief moment of respite from the planning for his funeral and burial, the costs of which have started to mount for Brown’s family as they do for so many who lose a loved one without warning.

The family has created an online fundraiser.

“This unexpected tragedy has left us in a financial bind and we are looking for assistance in anyway possible,” Beckett posted to the GoFundMe page for her brother’s burial costs. “Most of his funeral cost have been taken care of but there is still a balance that we would like to take care of to give my brother a proper burial.”

The family has set a fundraising goal of $3,000. As of this past weekend, they had raised just shy of $1,000.

“Please find it in your heart to donate and say a prayer for our family as we mourn the death of our beloved son, brother, uncle and father DeQwane,” Beckett’s post reads.

In the meantime, Charlottesville police have identified Charlottesville man Sidney Montcellus Stinnie as the lead suspect in Brown’s death and have obtained warrants for his arrest. Police warn that Stinnie is likely armed. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should immediately contact the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at (434) 977-4000.


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