A pastor from Texas is grieving the loss of his only biologican son, who was brutally murdered by a gang member two weeks ago.
Tragedy has befallen the family of Texas pastor and community activist Darrell Boyce, whose only biological son was fatally gunned down following an argument with a 56 year old gang member. San Antonio police said that the 19 year old Avante Boyce died from multiple gunshot wounds in the afternoon of March 31 at the East Meadows Complex parking lot. The young father of two collapsed while trying to escape the scene.
"I thank God for my peace...My testimony is this, that God has kept me and God is continuing to keep me in the storm where most people would just flip out and just be in a whole other place," Pastor Boyce said during a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday.
"God's peace is my testimony. That's my testimony. It's that plain and that simple. I love my son. I thank God for him, for the 19 years that He loaned him to me," Pastor Boyce continued. "And I thank God for His peace, even in the midst of this storm."
According to the Christian Post, San Antonio police identified Vernon "Keno" Dixon as a suspect in the shooting and murder of Avante and are now calling upon the public to help locate and arrest him. Dixon was known to frequent the east and west sides of San Antonio and is a documented "blood" gang member.
Hours after the 19 year old was killed in the shooting, Pastor Boyce took to Facebook to mourn his only biological son's death and call upon the killer to come forward to the authorities. The pastor wrote, "To the COWARD that took his life and anyone involved I pray that God's justice be upon you. This is my only biological child. He has 2 sons of his own who will never be able to see him again."
"You are a COWARD. QUIT RUNNING TURN YOURSELVES IN!!!!" Pastor Boyce concluded. This is not the first time the young father was embroiled in violence. Less than three years ago, Avante was almost the victim of a fatal shooting as he was heading to a basket ball court to play with friends. He heard gunshots and later found that his friend had been shot.
Now, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Pastor Boyce with his son's funeral. It has garnered over $4,000 in donations so far.
Meanwhile, KENS 5 reported that following the young Boyce's shooting, Big Mama's Safe House CEO Bennie Price said it was the "tipping point" for the establishment of a new program that targets gun violence in the east side of San Antonio. The nonprofit is dedicated to preventing gun violence among teens and young adults.
"I believe our community needs to come together, not only for these instances, but to prevent these instances," Pastor Boyce said, showing his support for Price and Big Mama's Safe House. "We need some of those guys who have been there and have experienced some of these things, to be able to give their testimony to some of these younger guys."