Family of 26-year-old shot, killed in Detroit by 12-year-old boy speaks out

Family says the father of 2 was shot while helping sister amid physical altercation with ex-boyfriend

Family stunned by death of father of 2 shot, killed by 12-year-old boy
Family stunned by death of father of 2 shot, killed by 12-year-old boy

DETROIT – Family members are still trying to come to terms with the untimely death of D’Vonte Relford, who was killed on May 16 in a home on Mark Twain Street in Detroit.

The person accused of pulling the trigger during a heated physical altercation is a 12-year-old.

“We lost our rock,” said Relford’s sister, Brittney Watson.

Watson said Relford was shot trying to protect his younger sibling, who was in a fight with her ex-boyfriend. It’s believed that while Relford was trying to intervene, the ex-boyfriend’s preteen nephew grabbed a gun, striking the victim from behind.

READ: 12-year-old boy charged in fatal shooting on Detroit’s west side

“The 12-year-old shot my brother in the back, not facing him, not charging him, wasn’t coming after him. Shot him in the back multiple times and said ‘Yeah, I did it because he was whipping on my uncle,’” Watson said.

The circumstances are still under investigation.

Watson said her brother was a kind man who leaves behind two kids -- 6-year-old Sydney and 3-year-old Cayden.

“That man was an excellent father. He would’ve done anything for his kids,” she said.

In the meantime, Relford’s family is hoping for a harsher charge for the 12-year-old -- something more than manslaughter and felony firearm.

“That’s not a child anymore, he’d been grown up. For you to take a gun and shoot someone in the back multiple times and have no remorse, you gone,” Watson said.

Local 4 was told that Relford’s nieces and nephews were present when the incident happened and witnessed him dying.

The 12-year-old is due back in court on June 7.

About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.