Baltimore, b. 4.February.1994 - d.
1.October.2015, accidental shooting
Baltimore bike messenger DeyQuawn Cooper passed away on October 1,
2015, after an accidental shooting.DeyQuawn was also a high school
track coach and respected role model in the community
DeyQuawn Shavez Cooper was born at Mercy Medical Center on February
4,1994 to William Cooper and Octavia Carr. He was the second of
three children and was christened at Gospel Tabernacle Baptist
Church. He departed this life suddenly on October 1, 2015.
DeyQuawn grew up in Baltimore, Maryland but spent many summers and
weekends in Prince Frederick, MD. He graduated from
Edmonson-Westside High School in 2012 where he played football and
fell in love with track & field. After high school he sought
employment at several different companies but enjoyed Expedited
Courier Group in Baltimore, Maryland; because of his passion for
cycling. This passion took him on a cycling journey from Baltimore,
Maryland to Washington, D.C. and he participated in numerous other
bike races. In 2014, he started working with the track team at
Carver Vocational Technical Senior High School where he formed a
special bond with each student on the team.
As a young child, DeyQuawn enjoyed football, baseball, swimming,
hiking, camping and spending time with his siblings, cousins and
friends. He also enjoyed video games, watching sports, hiking
through the woods and laughing and joking with his family.
As a man, DeyQuawn was a family oriented, kind, giving but he was
reliable, funny and always present. Affectionately known as Quawn;
he was always there for anyone who called upon him and even when you
didn't call. He just knew when someone needed care and would be
their either talk to you or just makes you laugh.
Some of his favorite moments were simple ones spent riding and
working on his bikes, mentoring kids on the football and track field
or just hanging out with family and friends. DeyQuawn was a true fan
of the Baltimore Ravens football team and cheering them on was
something he delighted in. He could often be seen wearing a team
jersey, tee shirt or hat.
DeyQuawn's smile would light up a room and if you were feeling a bit
downtrodden he'd immediately find a way to brighten your day. He had
a way of making everyone feel welcomed and his presence was well
known. His laugh was infectious and he had a knack for delivering
quick witted and comedic remarks that would make the room burst out
laughing. Being around DeyQuawn just made you feel good.
DeyQuawn was preceded in death by his great grandparents; Luther and
Ellen Jones, Butler Gray, Margaret Harris, and Calvin Brooks Sr. and
his grandfather, William A. Cooper Sr.
DeyQuawn leaves to mourn but celebrate his life: his mother, Octavia
Carr; father, William Cooper Jr.; stepfather, Michael Carr Sr.; two
brothers, Tajhi Cooper and Michael Carr Jr.; four sisters, Keniyah
Cooper, Dallas Essex-Cooper, Ciara Smith & Brittany Carr; one
niece, Aubree Cooper; one nephew, Braylen Cooper; one God-daughter,
Kinsley Ward; grandpar- ents, Mary E. Cooper, Catherine Brooks,
Janet Diggs, and William Gray and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins,
friends, students, former colleagues and admirers.
Family says shooting that left 21-year-old Carver track coach dead,
two cousins charged was terrible accident
by Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun, October 6, 2015
When Deyquawn Cooper wasn't coaching track at Carver Vocational
Technical High School or pedaling around the city as a bike
messenger, he was usually with his two cousins, Shaquilla Boykins
and Saiquan White.
Cooper, 21, fell right between the other two in age — Boykins is 25,
White 18. They lived across the street from one another on a West
Baltimore block where several other members of their family also
live, and were extremely close, said Luther Jones, 63, who is
Boykins' and White's grandfather and Cooper's great-uncle.
"They were like brothers and sister, that's how close they were,"
Jones said. "That's how tight of a family we are."
Now, however, the family is struggling to cope with a new reality,
one they say was the result of a terrible accident. Last week,
Cooper was fatally shot, and Boykins and White, who are siblings,
were charged Thursday in his killing — Boykins with second-degree
murder and felony use of a handgun, and White with possessing a gun
and accessory after the fact in Cooper's death.
"Both situations are tough," William Cooper, Deyquawn's father, said
of his son's death and Boykins' and White's arrests. "The whole
thing could have been prevented."
Deyquawn had a good head on his shoulders, working four jobs and
always helping others with whatever they needed, his father said.
Deyquawn Cooper, 21, was fatally shot in an incident his
family describes as a tragic accident. Two of his cousins have been
charged in his death.
He said he never thought his son would end up on Baltimore's rapidly
growing list of homicide victims. Neither did others who knew him.
"He's just one of those good kids: hard-working, never in trouble,
positive role model," Carver Principal Shionta Somerville said.
Somerville recruited Cooper to be the girls track coach late last
year after he stopped in to visit his father, a culinary arts
teacher at the school. She recognized the young man from her days as
an assistant principal at Edmondson-Westside High School, from which
"You probably don't get much better than him," she said.
The family lived in proximity to one another in the 1800 block of
Penrose Ave., in the city's Franklin Square neighborhood.
According to charging documents, police responded to Boykins and
White's home about 9:52 p.m. last Wednesday for a report of a
shooting. They found Cooper inside with a gunshot wound. He was
taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced
dead about 2:30 a.m. He was the city's 250th homicide victim this
Detectives took Boykins and White to the homicide unit for
questioning, where they waived their rights to remain silent and
agreed to discuss what happened. But their accounts changed over the
course of the interview, the documents say. And neither would say
what happened to the gun.
According to charging documents, the three were hanging out together
and drinking alcohol when Boykins went upstairs to the bathroom.
When she came downstairs, she "recognized that there was a handgun
seated on the dining room table" of the home.
"Ms. Boykins picked up the handgun and proceeded to walk into the
kitchen where Mr. White and Cooper were; with the handgun in her
hand," the documents read. "Ms. Boykins advised she was going to
inquire into why the gun was on the dining room table or in the
house at all when the handgun discharged while it was still in her
According to the documents, Boykins immediately dropped the gun to
the floor. White tried to lift Cooper to put him in a vehicle and
take him to the hospital, but he was too heavy.
White, the documents say, eventually admitted the gun was his, but
initially provided "numerous inaccurate accounts," including that an
unknown person had kicked in the back door of the home and shot
Cooper — which police described as "an effort to mislead the
investigation away from his sister" and himself.
Boykins and White "admitted to being the only people in the house"
besides Cooper at the time of the shooting, the documents say, but
both denied "knowing where the unidentified handgun was moved after
the shooting." Police said those statements "suggest that both Mr.
White and Ms. Boykins were working together to withhold or hide
The medical examiner determined Cooper's death was a homicide, and
Boykins and White were arrested. Police and prosecutors said the
charges were based on the evidence of the case. They would not say
whether the charges would have been different if Boykins and White
had cooperated fully.
"As in all cases, prosecutors rely on the facts presented to them to
determine the charges," Rochelle Ritchie, a spokeswoman for
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, said in a statement.
"If the pending investigation reveals additional information, it is
always considered in what charges we proceed upon."
Neither Boykins nor White had an attorney listed in online court
records, and neither has an adult criminal history in Maryland,
according to online records. A preliminary court hearing for both is
scheduled on Oct. 28.
Jones, who has lived on Penrose Avenue all his life, said he wishes
police and prosecutors would view the incident as an accident for
the family to sort out.
"When it happened, everyone was distraught as to how it happened and
why it happened," he said. "Everybody feels as though it was an
accident. They just want someone to tell the truth."
Cooper's father said he just wants police and prosecutors to "follow
the proper protocol."
Somerville said that when she first heard that Cooper had died, she
thought it had to be the result of an illness. "I know that sounds
silly, but for a kid like that, you just don't connect it to any
type of violence," she said.
When she recruited Cooper to coach the school's track team late last
year, he was only 20, meaning he couldn't be a paid staff member.
Still, he volunteered until his 21st birthday in February, even
coming in on his off days to check on the squad, she said.
"When the girls were frustrating him, he would come to me and say,
'Ms. Somerville, these girls just don't want to work today,'"
Somerville said, laughing at the memory of his commitment. "He was
really patient with them."
The girls loved him in return, Somerville said, and took the news of
his death "really hard," requiring her to call in a crisis team to
help them deal with their emotions.
Since his death, there has been an outpouring of support for him on
social media and at Carver, his father said. There was also a vigil
in his memory on Tuesday night.
"He touched a lot of people," he said, "and he was only here for
such a small time."
of Baltimore Interview with Baltimore bike messenger Horace
that discusses DeyQuawn's death