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4-Month-Old, Dad Gunned Down On Porch After Returning From A Picnic, Suspect Arrested Weeks Later

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Source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Sep. 5 2022, Published 8:58 a.m. ET

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A man and his 4-month-old child were shot and killed as they sat on a porch after a picnic. Now, police say they have arrested their suspected killer.

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Darion McClendon, 25, and his son Da’Mari McClendon, 4 months old, were on the porch of a Monroe County, North Carolina, home when they were killed on May 29. Family said they had just gotten back from a picnic, according to WBTV.

Police investigated and last week charged Tahjii Katreel Salves Bennett, 21, in connection to the case.

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Authorities did not say how they identified him as a suspect. They also didn’t release a possible motive.

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Bennett now faces a host of charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. He is being held in jail without bond.

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“This investigation has been exhaustive and all credit should go to the men and women of this department who have worked tirelessly, spending hours on end gathering evidence and leaving no stone unturned,” Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard said. “The work done by these folks is a true testament to this department and our commitment to the residents of Monroe.”


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