BALTIMORE (WJZ) — DaVonte Friedman had been working to turn his life around—even speaking to several members of the Baltimore City Council on youth violence—before he was murdered Saturday in East Baltimore.
“My little brother just turned 18 on November 26th and died on December 1st,” his brother Tyrone Friedman said. “He wanted to see more done in the community for himself and other kids like him.”
DaVonte and another 18-year-old man were murdered in the 2400 block on Brentwood Avenue in the Barclay neighborhood, part of a triple shooting.
“I lost a piece of me. I will never be able to see him again, never hear him laugh,” his brother said.
He admitted DaVonte had run-ins with the law. Court records show a previous arrest remanded to juvenile court. But Tyrone Friedman said his brother was “trying to change his life. He got a job—everything.”
He even spoke at Baltimore City Hall last year as part of a youth leadership program.
“He didn’t know how he wanted to talk to them, how he should dress,” his brother remembers. “He was very nervous, but once he got in front of the councilmen, it flew out of him like he was born to do it. He was born to talk to people about the problems that should be fixed because he knew firsthand how it is to face some of the struggles that these youth face.”
Family friend Raekwon Conaway shared a picture of DaVonte in front of the council.
In a Facebook post, he wrote, “Share this little story of DaVonte so the media won’t label him as another victim of crime in Baltimore. DaVonte was special, and he deserves to be remembered for the positive things in his life. …Let’s do better, Baltimore.”
Councilman Zeke Cohen is in the photo and said he remembers DaVonte’s appearance well. “Ironically, he was speaking to us about preventing violence.”
Cohen said, “We can’t do this anymore. There can’t be other DaVontes. We have to end the violence.”
Cohen expressed his sympathy for the family’s loss.
Baltimore is on pace to again surpass 300 murders for the year. Friedman’s killing is one of six in the first four days of December.
“He wanted to do so much. He had so much in his future that he wanted to accomplish that he never got to do,” said his brother, who noted he was accepted into several colleges.
Friedman said he still believes there is hope for Baltimore’s youth. “We’ve got to show them that we’re there for them. Show that you care. Show them that you’re willing to help them change. See better in them because everybody has better in them no matter what they’ve done.“
DaVonte Friedman’s killer remains on the loose. His family said they are trying to pay for his funeral.