Derrieon Family00000000

The mother of Derrieon Dees was willing to speak to our Chelsea Barton on camera today.

The family of Derrieon Dees is of course leaning on each other right now during this devastating time.

They say they are in shock and cannot believe the 22-year-old is gone.

Those who knew Dees tell me they are extremely saddened by his death and the way his life was taken.

According to friends and family, Derrieon Dees like so many other young people, went through a period of tough times making poor decisions that landed him in some troubles. That’s where local non-profit Mind Changers and its founder Rodney Pelt came into Derrieon’s life.

Mind Changers is a mentoring program dedicated to motivating young men and women to be positive decision makers and grow into successful, responsible adults.

“It is hurtful. It is real hurtful,” Pelt said. “To know we lost another young black man to the violence. Not saying that Dees was a perfect kid, but knowing that a guy with a big smile, who was fun loving, lost his life to something as senseless as gun violence. It is just hurtful. It pulls at my heart strings for not only him, but for his mom,” Pelt added.

Derrieon’s mother Tomeka Hardy said she can’t believe her son is gone.

“I can’t even sleep behind this,” Hardy said. “I stayed up last night to see if he was going to walk to through the door. When he would get home, he would always come in there and let me know, ‘Mom, I am here.’”

Harris is also charged with three counts of attempted murder because of his firing a gun at three teens. The two juveniles that were armed, both 16, are being charged with certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol and were placed in the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center.

As we mentioned, Harris is being charged as an adult and will be held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail pending $230,000 in total bonds.

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