A Black LGBTQ+ teenager named Deandre Matthews was found dead in Brooklyn earlier this month, and his family is demanding answers in the wake of the tragedy.
Deandre Sustained Gunshot Injuries & ‘Burn Wounds’
The19-year-old’s body was found on railroad tracks back on Feb. 7, according to NBC News. Authorities note that he was found unresponsive at around 4 p.m. with “significant burn wounds” all throughout his body, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Additionally, Deandre was found to have sustained “gunshot wounds of the head with perforation of the skull and brain.”
As a result, the case has been classified as a homicide, and the matter is still under investigation.
The Teen Never Returned Home After Borrowing His Mom’s Car
Danielle Matthews, Deandre’s mother, notes that she had last seen her son the day before, as he asked to borrow her car at around 5:45 p.m.
However, after discovering that both her car and son weren’t home by 2:30 a.m., Danielle knew something was wrong. She was ultimately able to track her car down, though the back seat was badly burned Deandre was nowhere in sight.
“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.”
Deandre’s corpse was found that afternoon, which “was not something [the family] expected.”
The family of 19-year-old Black gay man Deandre Matthews, who was found dead on train tracks in Brooklyn, New York, are demanding answers, and justice, in his death. https://t.co/lE6omgegTk
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 21, 2023
The Family Speculates It May Have Been A Hate Crime
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Deandre’s family is left searching for answers as they honor his memory.
“He was just a beautiful soul. He was a great kid. Never had police contact. First in my family to go to college. He was amazing.”
Danielle also noted, “Deandre wasn’t a violent person. This wasn’t for retaliation. He wasn’t in the streets.”
As a result, she went on to say that she “believe[s] it was a hate crime.”
“I don’t know, but I believe it was a hate crime. Who would kill a beautiful soul like that?”
This sentiment was also shared by Dajanae Gillespie, Deandre’s sister.
“He was gay. And I feel as if this could’ve been a hate crime.”
As the investigation continues, Danielle says she has faith that authorities will get to the bottom of the case, as “they are doing a good job.”
She went on to powerfully note, “Let’s not let Deandre’s name go in vain. I want justice for my son.”
There are no further updates to the case at this time, and we send our condolences to the family.