Family Of Slain Teen Says He Wanted A Better Life

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NORTH ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)The aunt of a north St. Louis murder victim said she is grieving, but also enraged.  Reports circulated that her nephew belonged to a gang after his friends were shot just moments after leaving his funeral Friday.  She says he wanted to build his community, not tear it apart.

On Saturday, January 12, De’Angelo Blackmon, 19, was found dead on Sherry Avenue and Mimika Street in north St. Louis.

“It hurt me.  It took a part of my life,” Marcia Smith, Blackmon’s aunt, remembered the night she got the phone call.

On Friday, January 25, his family said goodbye.

“The funeral was nice.  The service was nice.  The wake was nice,” Smith shook her head in confusion.  “Nobody was arguing or fighting.”

But just minutes after they left the service, four of Blackmon’s friends were shot in their car near Goodfellow Boulevard and Lilian Avenue.

“That just put me back in the night of when we got that call of De`Angelo being dead,” Smith remembered.  “Now we have to call these guys’ families, when they just left from celebrating his life with us.”

Smith said the victims had the name of a local gang on the back of their shirts. But only by association did Blackmon become a gang member because of what was on the front of their shirts: “R.I.P. De’Angelo.”

Smith said her nephew was applying for a local G.E.D. program, so he could work with his father.

“He wanted to start going to construction classes.  So, that Monday we were supposed to start getting in contact with [the program]. But, he died on Saturday,” she explained.  “He listened very well.  He was willing to learn when it came to things he wanted to know about building houses, fixing bikes, reading a tape measure.”

Smith said Blackmon's only arrests were for traffic tickets and that he was a good father to his 1-year-old and 7-month-old.

After one young man’s funeral, the planning for another’s began.  One of De’Angelo’s friends, 29-year-old Terry Robinson, did not survive the wounds he suffered in the attack Friday.

“It needs to cease,” Smith spoke out to all young people about the rash of violence in the city.  “It’s like they don’t know that they are hurting families, and kids, and friends.  They’re hurting themselves, for real.”

There are no suspects in Robinson's or Blackmon's killing.  The family is urging you to call Crimestoppers with information.  That number is (866) 371-TIPS(8477).  You can also leave a tip online at  You can remain anonymous, if you need.

More coverage: Four Shot After Leaving Funeral Parlor

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