CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police said the people arguing at Northlake Mall Thursday, Christmas Eve, had a history of going at it.
Eighteen-year-old Daquan Antonio Westbrook's parents said that's right.
They said the tension between the groups actually started on another holiday: Thanksgiving.
They said that's when someone shot and seriously wounded Westbrook's older brother and that, for the past few weeks, Westbrook lived in fear of running into the shooter.
That confrontation happened Thursday at Northlake Mall.
Officials said Westbrook pulled out a gun during the argument and when an off-duty officer arrived at the store, Westbrook pointed the gun at the officer. The officer fired his weapon and officials later pronounced Westbrook dead at the scene.
Reporter Jason Stoogenke spoke to his parents in an exclusive interview.
Westbrook's parents admit he got in trouble with the law when he was younger for at least one break-in but said he was getting his life together.
"My son was a good boy. He was loving, caring, loved people, loved the kids, everybody adored my son," Juan Westbrook said.
They said he graduated high school a year early and was already a student at Gaston Community College, hoping to work in construction while rapping on the side.
"He's very respectful. He's a loving person. He'll give you his last," Westbrook's mother, Sheana Shirley, said.
She said it was giving that led Westbrook to Journey's shoe store at Northlake Mall.
PRESS PLAY to watch Sheana Shirley speak about her son:
She said he went to buy her a gift and had just gotten off the phone with her to ask her size when she believes he ran into the person he blamed for shooting his brother.
"He wasn't looking for that boy. He told me and like I told him, 'Baby, I don't need you in jail and I don't need you to be dead,'" Shirley said.
Police said the men started arguing and Westbrook pulled a gun.
Shirley said she was not surprised to hear that her son had a gun because he used to carry one when he was younger.
She thinks he must not have seen or heard officers commanding him to drop that weapon or he would have obeyed.
"That police told Daquan to put that gun down, Daquan [would have] put that gun down. It's not like he crazy," Shirley said.
Westbrook's parents also said he worked at a hotel with his mother and that his girlfriend is due to give birth to a girl in February.
PRESS PLAY to watch more of Jason Stoogenke's exclusive interview:
© 2020 WSOC