Teen killed, mom wants to know why

According to his family, he was a good boy who thought about growing up to be a preacher.

Published March 26, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - Jacqueline Morehead is a Christian woman, so she has forgiveness for whoever killed her oldest child early Saturday.

But she does have a question for the drive-by shooter.

"Why did you do this to me? Why did you take my baby from me?"

It was about 12:30 a.m. Saturday when Morehead's son, 15-year-old Deandre Brown, was visiting a cousin and standing outside a home on the 2200 block of Highland Street S.

A vehicle pulled in front of them and a passenger fired several rounds. Some went harmlessly into a nearby home; one struck Deandre in the right shoulder and traveled to his heart.

He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he died.

As of Sunday afternoon, St. Petersburg police were still trying to make progress in the case.

Deandre's aunt, 28-year-old Lattia Morehead, said a block party for area gangs was to take place in the neighborhood Saturday night. She suspects her nephew died because somebody wanted to make a statement.

"All the gangs from St. Pete were supposed to meet up there," she said. "They were probably trying to stir something up before the party started."

An eighth-grader at John Hopkins Middle School, Deandre liked to dress well and enjoyed computers and shopping at the mall. He was to start at Lakewood High School come the new school year.

He recently got his mother's name tattooed on his arm and had dreams of being a preacher, or maybe playing football.

"He's not going to even get to where he wanted in life," his mother said. "He never really got a chance to live."

Family members say Deandre struggled in school, but he always went. They said there was no evidence that Deandre was involved in any illegal activity.

"He had a good heart," said Jacqueline Morehead, a single mom who still must care for two daughters. "He did not hate anybody. He was a loving person and a good person."

Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Sunday.

Will Van Sant can be reached at vansant@sptimes.com or 727 445-4166.