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'Somebody Has To Know Something': Father Of Mass Shooting Victim Urges Witnesses To Come Forward

Courtesy Kenneth Stevenson

Thirty-one-year-old Dairyon Stevenson is the fourth person who died as a result of Monday morning’s mass shooting on Beatties Ford Road. The shooting happened at a block party at the end of a weekend that started with Juneteenth celebrations.

His family says Dairyon was a father, son, chef, and loved greatly by his family. You can hear that in his dad’s voice.

"He was a fun-loving, charismatic kind of guy; probably the favorite out of the family," his father, Kenneth Stevenson said. "He was a great dad, very much proud of being a great dad."

Kenneth Stevenson sat outside underneath a pop-up tent on Thursday. Family and friends came and went from the front yard, checking in. Kenneth said there will be more people coming soon -- Dairyon's funeral is Saturday. Making those plans has kept his mind busy.

"Right now I’m just trying to deal with the fact that I have to put my son to rest," Kenneth Stevenson said.

Kenneth wants the public to know who his son was. He was engaged to be married. He loved to fish. He was a provider Kenneth says, and wanted to give his kids everything they ever wanted. His son was a person.

Maybe knowing that will motivate people to come forward with information about Monday morning’s shooting. Police say there were some 400 people on Beatties Ford Road that night.

Credit Courtesy family of Dairyon Stevenson
Dairyon Stevenson loved cooking, fishing and being a father.

"Somebody has to know something," he said. "I wish that the guilt they feel or just that code of snitch … that person who knows something should say something, and if they don’t, they’re just a coward."

Kenneth hopes Dairyon’s death will make a difference and stop the bloodshed occurring in Charlotte’s streets.

"Hopefully my son’s death will awaken others to know that there needs to be some changes," he said. "There is way too much violence in the streets."

For now, Kenneth is holding onto memories of his son. Those memories include this past weekend when they took a Father’s Day beach trip. A trip he says, Dairyon was so excited and happy to be on.

When he looks back on that weekend that is still so fresh in memory, he wonders if Dairyon, in some way, knew it would be the last trip they’d make.

"We took our first father-son Father’s Day trip. Last Saturday he had the opportunity to go deep sea fishing for the first time," he said. "He was just so excited about it. And it’s just like, he knew something. He knew that, I guess, he knew his work was done. I guess he knew his legacy had been set."

That legacy — a beloved son, father, and husband-to-be, is one Kenneth hopes people will remember.

And it’s a legacy, he hopes, that will inspire witnesses to come forward.  

READ MORE: Remembering The Victims Of The Beatties Ford Road Mass Shooting


Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.