CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man was arrested after his 4-year-old son was shot and killed in southeast Charlotte Wednesday night, police said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to calls of a reported shooting at an apartment complex on Charleston Place, just off Monroe Road, around 7:30 p.m. When officers got to the complex, they went inside and found a 4-year-old boy who had been shot.
The child, identified as Demario Warren, was rushed to a hospital where he died from his injuries.
CMPD spent the night talking to people in the area and collecting evidence, trying to determine exactly how the shooting happened. CMPD officers at the scene didn't say what they think happened, only that they weren't looking for any further suspects.
Dayshawn St. Paul Warren is charged with involuntary manslaughter and selling or giving a weapon to a minor in connection with the shooting. Multiple neighbors told WCNC Charlotte reporter Richard DeVayne that Warren was the victim's father.
Multiple neighbors told WCNC Charlotte that Warren came outside holding his son screaming for someone to call the police. Those neighbors also said Warren repeatedly said the boy shot himself before officers arrived on the scene.
"If you have children, make sure you take care of them, hold them close and keep them dear," Maj. Cecil Brisbon said. "And if you possess any type of weapons or firearms in your house, make sure you keep those secure."
Senior Counsel for Giffords Law Center, Allison Anderman, told WCNC's Jane Monreal nearly 4.6 million minors live in homes with unsecured, loaded firearms. North Carolina has crime access prevention laws in place, meaning the owner of the gun can be charged.
Demario's grandmother set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral arrangements. She told Monreal via Messenger that the family is leaning on each other. She said Demario was also called "Baby," and the news of his death hasn't really hit them.
Demario's grandmother said Demario had an older brother and younger sister, both of whom are staying with the grandmother. She added that Warren was a single father who worked full-time for his three kids all under the age of 7.
"He loved his children dearly and I can’t imagine what he is going through right now," she wrote.
No further information has been provided by CMPD. Any person with information about this shooting or any other incident is asked to call Charlotte Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. All calls are anonymous.
Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.
WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.
Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || Google Podcasts
Locked On is the leading podcast network for local sports and is owned by WCNC Charlotte's parent company TEGNA.
Listen to Locked On here.
Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.