AURORA, Colo. -- Family members and friends of an Aurora man who was gunned down May 27 while trying to stop a fight, rallied along East 6th Avenue Saturday afternoon, to draw attention to gun violence, and to plea for help finding the killer.
"It hurts to not have that peace, to not be able to rest," said Kylah Green, the victim's sister.
Dejon Williams and his loved ones had just finished celebrating a family event at the Kasbah Nightclub at 2 a.m. As they were walking through the parking lot, Williams heard an altercation.
“He tried to stop the fight, and in the midst of trying to protect his family, he lost his life,” Green said.
“Senseless Act of Unprovoked Violence”
Aurora Police say four people were shot during that altercation. Williams, who was shot in the back of the head, did not survive.
His wife, Shanan Daugherty, called it a “senseless act of unprovoked violence.”
“He was an innocent, non-participant who ended up getting murdered and stolen from his family,” she said.
Daugherty told Denver7 that this wasn’t the first time Williams had stepped in to try to calm down an altercation.
“That’s just who he was,” she said.
Goals and Dreams
Family members describe Williams as “a successful entrepreneur, who was licensed as a certified personal trainer and who had a long-standing career in the health and wellness industry,”
“He loved coaching, especially kids,” Daugherty said. “He loved basketball.”
“He was really about building and about leadership,” Green said, “about having that foundation towards becoming a better person.”
Family Wants Answers
William’s mom, Paulette Givens, said it’s frustrating trying to get answers.
She said police won’t return her phone calls, and she can’t get victim’s advocates to help with some of the things she’s asked for, “because they can’t get a hold of a police report.”
Givens said she is grateful for the love and support she has been given by the community, but said overall, “when Black men are gunned down in our community there is a lack of support.”
She said one of her nephews, Damon Weyrough, was murdered on Christmas Eve 2013, “and the case is still unsolved.”
Daugherty said it’s “extremely frustrating” that police haven’t been able to make an arrest in the quadruple shooting, even though there were numerous witnesses at the scene.
“Whatever they need to do to complete their process, they need to do it,” Givens said.
Theo Wilson, an acquaintance of Williams, knows that won’t be easy.
“Situations like this put the community in a catch-22,” he said. “Those who have information are afraid to come forward because they’re afraid of violence…and they fear that police won’t protect them. On the other side, if they don’t come forward, then those who did the wrong get carte blanche to do it again.”
Plea for Help
During his opening prayer, Pastor Terrance Hughes, of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, asked that God grant witnesses courage.
“Give them the courage to drop a note to someone,” he prayed, “to pass it to a pastor or to someone they trust… so that justice can be done.”
He said the family was “not looking for retribution, just justice.”
Show of Support
Sharletta Evans, whose 3-year old son, Casson Evans was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1995, attended the rally to show support for Ms. Givens.
Her son’s killers are both serving life sentences.
“My son was shot and killed and died in my arms 22 years ago,” she said. “I haven’t given up yet. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to stand with the moms. We’re 5280 survivors…and we’re going to reach out to those wayward people and make a difference.”
In a post on their Twitter page, Aurora Police said the investigation remains very active. They’re asking for the public’s assistance solving the murder.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $4,000 for information that will lead to an arrest and successful prosecution.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Homicide Det. Alton Reed at (303) 739-6068 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-5095.