‘He had so much to live for’: 4-year-old boy shot, killed; dad arrested, CMPD says

CHARLOTTE — The mother of a 4-year-old boy who died after being shot Wednesday night in southeast Charlotte said her son was full of joy and laughter.

Officers responded to a shooting at about 7:30 p.m. on Charleston Place Lane off Monroe Road. When they arrived, they discovered the child had been shot.

MEDIC took him to a hospital where he later died, police said. The boy’s mother identified him as Demario Warren. Police confirmed Thursday his father was arrested in the case.

Initially, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers said Warren died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But in a news conference, CMPD Major Cecil Brisbon said officers are still investigating his official cause of death.

On Thursday, police said Dayshawn St’Paul Warren, the boy’s father, was arrested in the case.

According to jail records, Dayshawn Warren was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Police said he’s also charged with improper storage of a firearm. He was listed in the Mecklenburg County jail with a $100,000 bond. A judge later reduced it to $25,000.

“This isn’t a situation where we are asking the public to help us figure out who’s responsible,” Brisbon said. “This is a situation where we’re just asking the public to pray for this family as they’ve lost a loved one.”

CMPD said the shooting was an accident.

Warren has previous charges, which include domestic violence and assault.

None of those charges indicate that he would not be legally allowed to have a gun.

‘He had so much to live for’

Demario’s mother, Brandi Parham, told Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz she saw her son hours before he died. Something was telling her to visit him, she said.

“It was God telling me to go see your kids,” Parham said. “It was something in me, telling me to go see your kids and that was the last day last time hugging and kissing him.”

Warren showed off his Halloween costume with his brother to his mom.

“They showed me their costumes when we were there. They were so excited about that,” Parham said. “He was just so happy, joyful and smiling.”

Parham said her goodbyes around 6 p.m. and left her three kids in their father’s care.

“He had so much to live for,” Parham said. “Only four and gone to the gun violence, and it’s something that could’ve just been avoided.”

Parham is focusing on the light her son brought to the world.

“He was happy. So happy. So full of joy. So full of laughter,” Parham said.

Parham said Warren was smart, curious and a momma’s boy.

“Demario Warren, he was going to be something major in life,” Parham said. “Honestly, I know he would have had a nice bright future regardless of anything that came in his way.”

Parham said she is not sure how to explain what happened to Demario’s brother.

“I just hope everyone out there put your guns up,” Parham said. “If you love people and you care for them, put them up.”

‘If you have children, make sure you take care of them’

The news was not only devastating for Demario’s family, but it was also tough on the community and on first responders.

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Major Brisbon got emotional Wednesday night when talking about how CMPD plans to support the family and his fellow officers. He said officer wellness is huge for CMPD, so they’ll be making sure officers are getting the help they need to work through this crisis.

“Officers arrived on scene and saw something no body wants to see -- especially not a parent,” Brisbon said. “We’ll do everything to make sure our CMPD family gets everything they deserve, but also we can provide what this family needs as well.”

He asked parents to take a moment with their children, and make sure they’re safe.

“If you have children, make sure you take care of them, hold them close, keep them dear, and if you have firearms in your house, please make sure they are secure,” Brisbon said.

No further information has been released.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: CMPD major speaks after boy, 4, killed in southeast Charlotte)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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