The family of the 11-year-old boy fatally shot in east Oak Cliff is calling on the community to “protect your babies at all cost.”
De’Evan McFall was shot outside an apartment complex in the 3300 block of Southern Oaks Boulevard on Sunday. Dallas police said two girls were fighting in the parking lot when one of them — a 14-year-old — fired a gun in the direction of the other.
McFall, who was a bystander, was struck. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
At a news conference Monday, his mother, Vashunte Settles, fought tears as she held up a picture of him in his DeSoto football uniform.
“I don’t want nobody else to have to feel like this,” Settles said. “I don’t. Protect your babies at all cost. You can’t get them back. I will never see my son again.”
Settles saw the shooting, KTVT-TV (Channel 11) reported, and said she’ll never be able to get over witnessing it.
“He was so innocent,” she said. “He definitely didn’t deserve it. I just wish the younger generation would stop and think before they do irrational things, because in this situation, I’m not the only one hurting.”
Settles said something productive needs to come from her son’s death.
“Let my son not have died in vain and let this save somebody else’s child,” she said.
McFall’s grandmother, Lois Williams, also pleaded with the community to end the violence.
“Please, people! Stop killing each other! I never thought I would be standing here doing this for one of my babies,” she said.
McFall was a fifth grader in the DeSoto Independent School District, and enjoyed playing sports, including basketball and football.
DeSoto ISD Superintendent Usamah Rodgers told CNN losing a student is one of the most difficult experiences an educator can have.
“It is akin to losing a child, as these are our children,” he said. “My heart and condolences go out to the McFall family. DeSoto ISD will continue to wrap its arms around the family of De’Evan McFall as well as his school family and our entire district.”
The girl who fired the gun left the scene but was taken into police custody at a nearby apartment complex. She faces a murder charge and is being held at the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center. Her name has not been released, which is typical in instances where those involved are juveniles.
Details, including what led up to the fight and where the teenager obtained the weapon, have not been released. The investigation is ongoing.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the family for funeral expenses.
This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas- at the bottom.