Columnist

Police: Fatal Rock Hill shooting was over a woman

June 30, 2014 

Donquavious Dashon Davis

The shooting death of a young father of three Sunday in Rock Hill’s Sunset Park neighborhood came after a dispute over a woman, police said Monday as officers continued to search for a suspect.

The idea that a disagreement over who might be a boyfriend to a young woman would end in death and a murder warrant astounded and angered many who live nearby.

The family of Donquavious Dashon Davis, 19, accused of shooting Santario McCoy, 24, is trying to find Davis and persuade him to surrender, Rock Hill Police spokesman Mark Bollinger said.

“We are hoping that Mr. Davis will turn himself in immediately,” Bollinger said. (UPDATE: Davis turned himself in Tuesday)

Neighbors in Sunset Park near where the shooting happened also were concerned about the shooting and Davis’ still being at-large. They all seemed to know what Bollinger confirmed: The two young men were in a running dispute over a young woman.

But the conflict was not resolved with an argument, some shouts, a fistfight. No loud talk that ends with hurt pride but not hurt bodies. A gun – which ends arguments for all involved when fired to settle something seemingly as simple as girl trouble – was used instead of words or fists.

“We have too many young black men dying and too many young black men in jail for the rest of their lives,” said Patricia Thorne, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened.

Davis already has a criminal record for convictions of assault and more, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. He had been charged with attempted murder in a case that was dismissed a couple of years ago.

Although police have not released many details about Sunday’s shooting, Davis apparently knocked on the door where McCoy and others were inside and was let in, Bollinger said

In the close-knit set of Sunset Park streets south of downtown, one of Rock Hill’s historically black neighborhoods, the killing set off conversation about young people not having the ability to work out differences without resorting to shooting and killing.

Gonza Bailey, 70, lives directly across Friedheim Road, not 30 yards from where the killing took place. The two-tour Vietnam War Army veteran earned a Purple Heart from gunshot wounds. His late son was a Marine Corps sergeant.

Bailey is appalled by the cavalier demeanor and actions of too many young men, as inconsequential as pants hanging down and as significant as a disregard for life. Bailey so loves his country and its opportunities that he flies not one but two American flags, which bracket his front door.

“Too many times, young men just trying to act tough,” Bailey said. “Believe me, I know what tough really is.”

The neighborhood had returned to normal Monday – except for one young man dead and another looking at 30 years to life if convicted of murder.

Davis had lived just two short blocks from where the shooting happened. McCoy lived nearby at one time, too.

Just a block away, Alexander “Boot” Hardin was beaten to death inside his Orr Street home in 2012. The 64-year-old Vietnam War veteran had lived in the neighborhood all his life. Several neighbors said Monday the violence has pushed some to keep children from playing outside unsupervised in a neighborhood that for generations was home to working-class black families.

At Sunset Park Elementary School, just a block away from Sunday’s shooting, the school’s motto can be seen on signs around the campus: “Our future is up to us.”

But Patricia Thorne and her neighbors, sitting on porches and talking over fences about the death of a young man by gun, say the future for the people involved is no longer up to them. The use of a gun took away all choices.

“One of them is dead after getting shot, and the other, he could be looking at spending the rest of his life in jail,” Thorne said. “Nothing is up to those young men anymore.”

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065 •  adys@heraldonline.com

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