Wilmington man killed in 11th street shooting leaves behind lasting legacy

Young father shot on 11th St missed by friends and family

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A new memorial appeared on 11th Street this week to commemorate the life of 26-year-old Titus Vaughn.

Vaughn was shot in the 100 block of 11th Street Friday and died in the hospital. No arrests have been made at this time, according to police.

Vaughn had a lot of nicknames; his aunt says he was “Smook” to his family, and to others, he was “Seal.”

“Smook was very special, he was. And he’s going to be very missed by a lot of people,” said the victim’s aunt, Shalonda Vaughn, through tears.

His friends say he was caring, loyal and never met a stranger. Vaughn’s friend, Shaka, called him his little brother even thought the two weren’t blood related.

“One of the best guys I know,” said Shaka, “Like we hold each other down, you know there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him and I knew that was the same, that he felt the same.”

Vaughn was also a father. Family says his one-year-old daughter was his pride and joy.

Titus Vaughn
Titus Vaughn (Source: Submitted)

The Vaughn family is no stranger to tragedy and heartbreak. Titus is the third family member they’ve lost to gun violence.

Shalonda Vaughn says she lost her nephew in 2014, and her own son, Sayvor Cromartie, in June of 2019.

“When you have to mourn and you’re not getting no justice and then it’s happening over and over and the same thing is happening, it’s....it’s a bad feeling. It’s a very bad feeling," said Shalonda Vaughn.

If you walk down 11th Street, balloons cling to the power lines overhead and three vigils decorate the sidewalk.

The first one put up was for Cromartie last summer.

Another memorial went up recently for 19-year-old Shamia Greene, who was murdered on 11th Street last month.

This week, a collection of candles, photos and mementos for Titus Vaughn began building as well.

No arrests have been made in any of those cases.

“There’s been a lot of reckless violence and it’s got to stop," said Shaka, "I can’t take these three—it’s not right. They didn’t deserve that. They never hurt nobody. Everybody loved them and they loved everybody.”

Shalonda Vaughn says the love and support that comes with having a big family keeps her going, but the lack of justice has made it difficult for her family to heal.

As family and friends pray for justice, they also pray for the hearts of the entire community left to mourn yet another young life. Shalonda adds she’s especially concerned about the younger people impacted by the violence.

“They’re losing people that’s so close to them at such a young age. They’re not getting a chance to enjoy what we got to enjoy. You know, with us it was the older people, for them it was their brother, their cousin, their best friend and I pray for these kids and I pray for their hearts," said Shalonda Vaughn. “It could be anybody is what I’ll say. You never know, nowadays. Things are totally different.”

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