Loved ones say 14-year-old killed in shooting full of life, ‘never knew a stranger’

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – The family of slain 14-year-old, Dequavion Traylor, spoke about his good character amid his murder investigation.

Sparkle McKnight, Traylor’s mother, said with all the attention on the case, people have spoken about her son in a negative light.

“It’s hurtful because they’re painting my child as a drug dealer — this and that,” said McKnight. “My son was not involved in any kind of drugs, I work two jobs so my son wouldn’t have to do drugs.”

McKnight said her son was her best friend who was just like any other teen.

“He loved writing , he writes his feelings you know, he writes poems, he likes basketball, football, just a normal kid,” said McKnight.

McKnight said she dropped off her son at the Ella Apartments on June 9 to be with his grandmother and cousins, never expecting it would be the last time she would see him. McKnight said the apartment where her son was shot was not the apartment where his grandmother lived.

“My mom said that they were ordering pizza and [Dequavion and his cousins] went to go get wings at that [other] apartment,” said McKnight. “It happened that fast. He wasn’t ever over there that long, maybe ten minutes.”

Zy McKnight, Dequavion’s sister, said her brother was a really kind and outgoing little boy.

“I’m sad that my brother won’t be here anymore and I’m just the only kid,” said Zy, “My brother was a very goofy person, he wasn’t all that [people] say, he wasn’t a drug dealer.”

Zy said she showed up to her grandmother’s apartment after her brother had already left to the other apartment and that everything happened quickly and unexpectedly.

“I was in the shower and I got out and my cousin was running around here talking about ‘your brother is on the floor’, said Zy, “And so the first thing I did was call my mom.”

Israel Vasquez said he met Traylor through coaching him at football when he was 7 years old.

“He was a kid full of life,” said Vasquez, “He never knew a stranger, he would come up and introduce himself and then by the end you knew his favorite color, you knew everything about him.”

Vasquez said Traylor became close to his family and even started calling him dad.

“Quay didn’t really have a dad, a father figure in his life, said Vasquez, “And [when] we met and he spent so much time with us, him and my son hit it off and they just became best friends.”

Vasquez said he is saddened he will no longer hear ‘Quay’ call him to pick him up or watch him grow up.

“[Before the incident], all he did was talk about the upcoming high school year,” said Vasquez, “His plans were to try to get on the football team, even try out for the baseball team because his friend played.”

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