‘I have to see my child in a casket. His mother gets to see him stand before a judge:’ Mother speaks out after losing her son to gun violence

‘I have to see my child in a casket. His mother gets to see him stand before a judge:’ Mother speaks out after losing her son to gun violence
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It was a normal Saturday night for Toni Dekine, until she got the phone call that changed her life.

“I received a phone call that he had been hurt,” she says. “Not sure how hurt he was. So we jumped in the car. We went and picked up his grandmother and we went there as fast as we could. My baby was gone.”

Her son, 20-year-old Jakai Dekine, was shot and killed on Saturday night on S. 11th Street.

The Wilmington Police Department arrested 25-year-old Malik Delquan Jones in connection with his murder. Jones is charged with First Degree Murder, Discharging a Firearm in an Enclosure, and Discharging a Firearm in City Limits.

Jakai’s mother says, that’s not justice for the grief they’re feeling.

“His mother gets to look at him,” she says. “I never get to see my child. I have to see my child in a casket. His mother gets to see him stand before a judge. I don’t. I don’t get to see my child ever again. I can’t hold him. I can’t console him. I can’t do any of those things. She still gets that. I don’t.”

Jakai’s family called him “Peanut”, and say that he lit up every room when he walked in.

“He just, he was everything,” his mom said. “He volunteered at senior bingo. The elderly liked him. You didn’t meet anybody that did not love peanut, you know. So for this to happen to him, it has brought everybody to their knees.”

Dekine’s call to other parents, to take action in their homes now to end the senseless gun violence around the community.

“Let’s hold our children accountable,” she says. “As a community, let’s hold these parents accountable because it’s not fair. It’s not fair that I have to bury my child.”

She hopes that changes are made so that no other parent has to suffer her heartache and loss.

“He doesn’t get to walk through that door on Sunday morning and say, what’s for dinner? He’s not gong to call me and say, what did you cook? Like, I don’t get that,” she said through tears. “That’s been taken away from me because of someone’s actions.”

Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.