NC man charged in shooting death of 9-year-old boy

State - Regional

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A 24-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 9-year-old boy in August, Durham police said Tuesday.

Z’Yon Person was shot and killed while riding in a car on August 18 near the intersection of North Duke and Leon streets.

He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Z’Yon Person (provided by WNCN)

An 8-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to his arm during the incident. He was treated at the hospital for his injuries and released.

Nathaniel “Lil Tony” Davenport Jr. was charged Tuesday at the Durham County Jail, where he was already being held on charges from a prior domestic violence case.

Z’Yon’s grandmother, Sandra Person, said she is still heartbroken by the loss.

“Physically he’s not going to be here, but he is in our hearts forever,” Person said.

Person said this Saturday would have been Z’Yon’s 10th birthday.

“My little man couldn’t even make it to the age of 10, it just hurts so bad,” she said.

But Person said she is relieved to know that an arrest has been made.

“This is like, a happy cry, I can smile to know that somebody is in custody for doing what they did to my baby, to my grandchild,” Person said.

Person said she still wants to know why multiple shots were fired into the car her grandchildren were riding in.

In addition, she thinks there are more suspects out there.

“If there is one more or many more (suspects), they need to be brought to justice as well,” Person said. “Because if you were driving a car you’re just as guilty as the person who shot the gun.”

But for now, she is thankful that one person has been charged.

“This is the day I’ll never forget, and there are other days to come with other information,” Person said. “I guess it’ll get a little bit easier but it will never be forgotten. Z’Yon will never be forgotten.”

The arrest resulted from an investigation by the Durham Police Department’s Homicide Unit and the FBI’s Raleigh Durham Safe Streets Task Force, which includes task force officers from the Durham Police Department and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our officers and investigators, with support from concerned and engaged community members, will continue the fight against gun violence in our city,” said Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis.

Davenport is charged with:

  • First-degree murder
  • Felony conspiracy to commit murder
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Five counts of attempted first-degree murder
  • Two counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied property causing serious injury
  • Three counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle/residence

The investigation is still active and ongoing.

He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Investigator Cramer at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29284 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves. 

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