When her 13-year-old son, Lee Weathersby III, was slain in East Oakland on New Year’s Eve, Dinyal New was comforted by loved ones including her other child, 19-year-old Lamar Broussard, who remarked that Lee “was so perfect that he was too good to be true.”
Now she is preparing to bury a son for the second time in three weeks. Last month, Broussard was fatally shot along with a second man as they rode in a car less than a mile away from the first crime scene.
New said she was trying to remain strong. But the 41-year-old woman, a social worker’s assistant, acknowledged that she didn’t have the strength to positively identify both of her sons, asking relatives to do so “because I just have to remember them exactly the way they were.”
To lose one son is bad enough, she said. To lose a second one is almost unthinkable. “I have no more kids,” she said, adding that she was struggling with her faith in a higher power.
“I’m still numb about Lee, so I don’t know if my heart has enough room to handle Lamar’s death. This is like a dream right now,” New said outside her home. “I know there is a God, but I’m like, ‘Why would he give a mother so much pain to handle within 19 days?’ This is really hard on me.”
New said she didn’t know if the two killings are related, but noted that “nobody outside of family” knew that Lamar and Lee were half brothers, saying, “They looked totally different.” She deplores the violence in Oakland – and the reluctance of witnesses in such shootings to come forward.
She asked fellow parents to “talk to your kids, or if you see them doing wrong, pull them to the side and chastise them and tell them that this is wrong.”
Her younger son, Lee, was shot about 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31 near 104th Avenue and Walnut Street as he walked home from a party at the Boys & Girls Club on International Boulevard. The avid basketball player and drummer, an eighth-grader at Alliance Academy, died early New Year’s Day.
Then at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, Broussard and a friend, 19-year-old Derryck Harris, were shot and killed while riding in Broussard’s Audi near the corner of 100th and Longfellow avenues. Relatives said they were ambushed by someone who opened fire from another car.
Broussard was a Laney College student who aspired to be a musician and start his own business, his mother said.
No arrests have been made in the three slayings. The two sites are marked by makeshift shrines, one with tea lights spelling out Harris and Broussard’s nicknames, “Lil D” and “Mar Mar.” Lee’s memorial includes stuffed animals, candles, flowers and balloons.
“I really don’t know how to feel,” Shakia Green, 27, of Oakland said at the shrine for the double slaying. “Both of my little cousins are gone to some senseless s-. We need justice for our family. It’s all that we ask.”
Unaware of a connection
Lee Weathersby Jr., who is Lee’s father and Broussard’s stepfather, said Monday: “They were good boys, both of them.” He said he had been in Broussard’s life since his stepson was 2 years old.
“I’m upset. Both of my sons are dead,” he said. “We’re not supposed to be burying our children. It’s supposed to be the other way around. They’re supposed to looking out for us.” He said of the killers, “Police need to find them. They need to be locked up.”
Weathersby said he didn’t know if the killings of his sons were linked to each other. “I don’t know,” he said. “All I know is neither is supposed to be dead.”