Crime

'They don't know what they took from me,' says mom of man killed in Bay park shooting

D’Ante Washington and his mom, Twanna Washington
D’Ante Washington and his mom, Twanna Washington Courtesy Twanna Washington

Twanna Washington has spent the last couple of days driving around, listening to Tae Spitta's music.

Her son's voice is equally soothing and heartbreaking for her.

A Hancock High graduate and father of 1-year-old Da'Montae, D'Ante Washington — whose rap name is Tae Spitta — was shot last Wednesday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Bay St. Louis and ultimately succumbed to his injuries. With the loss of her beloved son still fresh, Twanna is clinging to her fond memories and mementos of his life.

"That's all I've been doing. It's comforting. I keep listening to his voicemails," she said with a deep sigh. "It's hard."

A mother at 15 years old, Twanna's parents helped raise D'Ante but the two were "very close."

"We talked every day. Every day. I loved him," she said. "It wasn't just a mother-son relationship. We were best friends."

While talking about her son's life Monday, Twanna paused several times to gather her thoughts or fight through tears.

"They don't know what they took from me. He was my life. My heart," she said. "They don't know what they took from me."

Twanna described her son as a sweet kid overflowing with personality. She said he would do anything for anyone but, most importantly, he was a good father.

"He loved his son more than anything in the world," she said.

She laughed thinking about how her son would drive Da'Montae around in a Lamborghini Power Wheel, listening to his music.

"What would light his son up is when my son would say, 'Heeyy, Daddy's baby,'" she said. "He loved that baby."

The loss has been especially hard to her other sons, 11-year-old Emiry Wilson and Juelz Wilson, who turns 14 on Wednesday.

"He was like, 'Why did they have to kill my brother before my birthday? He's not going to be able to eat shrimp with me,'" she said.

Twanna hopes her son's legacy goes far beyond being a victim of a shooting as he's an organ donor.

"It would be great to know he's helping someone else breathe, helping someone else's heart pump, that he's living through somebody else," she said.

Details from the shooting have been limited.

D'Ante was one of two victims that night, with Daquan Lewis, 23, having also been shot, Bay St. Louis Police Chief Gary Ponthieux said. Lewis' injuries were not considered life threatening and he has been discharged from the hospital.

A short time after police responded to shots at the park, another shooting was reported about 3 miles away an hour later, but no other injuries were reported, Ponthieux said.

Gulfport resident Armon Joseph Crawford was taken into police custody for questioning last week, but no arrests have been made in the case, Ponthieux said.

Twanna has a message for whoever pulled the trigger that ultimately killed her son.

"I want them to know: This generation is so screwed up. I want them to know the gun is not the answer anymore. You don't know what you took from me," she said. "You don't know what you took from his brothers. He had so much to do."

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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