Harris County - Houstonians are coming together to lend their support after 11-year-old Darius Dugas Jr. who was shot and killed Thursday in the Northeast Harris County apartment complex where he lived.
In this Positively Houston, we caught up with a couple of Constables who are trying to comfort the family during this terrible time and they’re giving the family $5,000 to help with expenses.
"Hopefully it’ll help them get through this easier. I don’t know that there is an easier way, but it’ll help in some small way," says Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.
Although there isn’t anything anyone can do to un-break the hearts of little Darius' loved ones, so many people are doing everything they can to lessen their pain. The 11-year-old's shooting death is even touching seasoned law officers.
"I’m just so heartbroken for this family. I mean this struck here at home. Precinct 3 is a very tight-knit community and I know some of the people that know this family. It lets you know that it can happen to anybody. That could have been my son, your son. I mean when crime comes knocking at your door, it doesn’t discriminate," says Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagelton.
"This hit the heartstrings. When you have an 11-year-old child getting shot in Harris County, Texas, it’s unbelievable. Just last week, we were the murder capital of the United States. Things are not working in Harris County and the only individuals that can change that and change the policies are the voters," Herman adds.
Precinct 3 and Precinct 4 Constables went by the family’s home to show their support after the 6th grader was shot Thursday at the Vireo Apartments on Tidwell when he went to grab his jacket from the family car.
"We want to give you this. This is $5,000 from Constable Eagleton and I," Constable Herman told Brenetta Francis while handing the mother in mourning an envelope.
"Thank you so much. I really appreciate it," Francis told the constables. The grieving mom melted into a loved one's arms as the constables prayed with her and her family.
"We pray for our community and our world, God. We’re in trouble and we need you. We need your help. We thank you, Lord, for the 11 years this family had with DJ," the Precinct 3 Chaplain prayed as the group held hands.
"I’ve never felt prayers this strong in my life," says Francis.
"It’s like I just, I just don’t wish this on nobody. I feel like I got to be strong for him because he felt like I was the strongest. He felt like I was Superman, like I could do anything," cried Darius Dugas Sr. with tears streaming down his face. "I never felt a pain like this. It’s like an indescribable pain."
"I think any of us that are parents can relate. Even with myself being a boy mom I can relate, may not understand it, but I can relate to it," says Christia Bobb with Pruitt’s In The Heights Funeral Home.
Pruitt’s is hosting the 11-year-old’s funeral at no charge to the family and Precinct 3 and Precinct 4 will escort the procession.
As the community collectively wraps its arms around this family, loved ones are preparing to celebrate the life of a kid who played in the band, who was said to be happy, always smiling, and who is now forever in our hearts.
"You said he was very special and precious. You called him King Darius?" FOX 26 asked.
"Yes and I treated him like a king. He was very confident. He was a leader…He’s not suffering now. He’s doing better than we can all imagine," says Darius’ mom.
"He was so smart. He was special. He really was," adds Darius’ dad.
"I’m really grateful for you all. The love and support is unreal," cried Darius’ mom as she hugged the constables before they left.
Even with all the support Darius’ parents are receiving, they say they’re waiting for one more person to step forward, the person who will turn in their son’s killer. There is a $5,000 reward being offered through Houston Crime Stoppers. You can anonymously call in a tip at (713) 222-TIPS.