A night of cheering the San Antonio Spurs to victory with his best friend was brought to a sudden end early Friday morning when Devonta Eburg was gunned down in a shooting that wounded three others. Police have not commented about a motive in the shooting.
“He was just sitting out, conversating on the stoop when some guys came from around the corner and started shooting,” said Eburg’s sister, Demetrius Barnes.
Rapid gunfire cut through the night air around 12:30 a.m. on the 700 block of Branch Street. The 18-year-old and his older brother, Darius Eburg, were shot twice along with two others – a 17-year-old female and a 26-year-old man – but while three of the victims were treated and released, Barnes’ youngest brother died from his wounds at Nash UNC Health Care.
Rocky Mount police canvassed the area, handing out hundreds of fliers in hopes of generating tips that would lead to an arrest, but no one has been charged in the case. Authorities would not comment on whether the incident was related to gang activity, but those nearest to the teen affectionately called “Biggie” are focusing on how he was preparing to graduate from the Opportunities Industrialization Center and loved playing basketball.
“I remember the person my brother was, not what the streets are making him out to be,” Barnes said. “He was a fun, loving, caring person who could brighten up anyone’s day and I just miss him.”
A memorial of flowers and a pinwheel sat Friday at the end of the apartment complex parking lot near where the teenager collapsed.
A prayer vigil and walk is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. tonight on the 700 block of Branch Street.
Barnes said her family wants anyone with information about the shooting to talk with police instead of trying to take justice into their own hands.
“It is not worth it,” she said as she mourned her youngest brother. “I don’t want nobody to get revenge because this or that. I just want my brother to rest in peace.”
T’Juana Staton, the mother of Biggie’s best friend, had tears in her eyes as she described seeing the boy she saw as her own wounded from “senseless violence.”
“I saw him laying at the end of the apartments, but that is not where he stays, so he was running,” she said. “He was running for his life and he didn’t make it.”
The teen’s death is Rocky Mount’s sixth homicide in 2014 and second unsolved this year.
The Jan. 18 shooting death of another teen, Brian Tyrik Freeman, on the 700 block of E. Highland Avenue remains unsolved. Anyone with information in either case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Text a tip to police at 274637 by beginning messages with RMPOL to direct the tip to the Rocky Mount Police Department and type up to 155 characters about the information.
“He is going to be missed. I miss him already,” T’Juana Staton said. “I’ll always remember his laugh... his laughter and him calling me mom.”