The family of a 19-year-old Black man is in mourning after he was found dead on train tracks in Brooklyn, New York, earlier this month.
The body of DeAndre Matthews was found around 4 p.m. on Feb. 7 — a few miles away from where he lived with his mother, Danielle Matthews.
It was revealed that DeAndre’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. According to an official police report, there were also significant burns throughout DeAndre’s body and signs of smoke inhalation.
While no arrests have been made in connection to DeAndre’s death, his mother believes that someone is responsible.
“DeAndre is so gullible. My baby trusted everybody and I hate that about him,” Danielle Matthews said, per ABC News. “DeAndre thought nobody would harm him.”
Danielle had a feeling something was wrong when DeAndre failed to return home with her car. She then used a tracking device on her SUV to locate the vehicle DeAndre was driving.
“I then located my car about 3:30 a.m. with a tracking system on my car because I have a new car. I located my car. I called the police. They came. My car was burnt, and from there I knew my son was gone,” she recalled, according to NBC News.
A few hours later, police discovered DeAndre’s body.
Danielle Matthews is convinced that her son’s death was a hate crime due to him being gay.
“He was gay. And I feel as if this could’ve been a hate crime,” she told NBC New York. “I want to know why [the killer] did it. What was the reason? Deandre wasn’t a violent person. This wasn’t for retaliation. He wasn’t in the streets.”
Danielle Matthews said she believes that her son’s killer will be caught and plans on keeping DeAndre’s memory alive long after justice is served.
“He felt he could have made things better in the world,” Danielle Matthews told ABC News. “But he’s still going to make it better because we’re going to keep DeAndre’s name alive. We’re going to keep fighting for DeAndre.”