MEMPHIS Tenn. (WREG) — A Memphis father was killed in front of his young children over the weekend while driving past a shootout outside a restaurant, according to authorities.
The parents of 31-year-old Tedarius Day said he was trying to take three of his four children — ages 2, 3 and 5 — to a park when he was fatally shot in the head Sunday.
“That was my child, my only child,” said Day’s mother, Veronica Neely. “Tedarius mattered. His life mattered. His children matter. And this was not necessary.”
The Memphis Police Department said Day was caught in the crossfire of a shootout at the Tha Table restaurant, where people were reportedly trying to steal cars in the parking lot.
Police said the restaurant’s owner, Alfonzo Turner, fired shots at the suspects as they were leaving the scene. The suspects returned to the business and opened fire on Turner, who later died at the hospital, according to authorities.
Darion Banks, 20, was arrested a day later in the deaths of Day and Turner after a police chase involving a white 2018 Infiniti Q50 on Monday. Police said Banks was a passenger in the stolen vehicle at the time of the pursuit.
During his arrest, officers said they found an AR-15 semi-auto pistol rifle, a Glock semi-auto handgun with a drum magazine and a Glock switch, or auto-sear, inside the car.
Police said Banks admitted to being present with other men in the Infiniti when they attempted to break into a vehicle at the restaurant on Sunday. The 20-year-old denied firing any shots but said he was driving the Infiniti during Sunday’s shootout, police said.
Prosecutors later charged Banks with two counts of first-degree murder, theft of property, evading arrest and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Michael Shaffer, 22, the driver of the Infiniti during Monday’s police pursuit, was charged with evading arrest and theft of property.
On Tuesday, Day’s family shared the heartbreaking news with his eldest daughter.
“She was like, ‘Please, tell me you’re joking. Just, this is not real,’” said Neely. “And so you have all these kids who are just devastated.”
As they prepare to lay him to rest, the Neelys are inviting pastors, churches and local leaders to stand up against gun violence.
“We got to come together as a community and stop this senseless violence,” Neely said.
She also wants the person responsible for Day’s murder to never forget the pain they’ve caused.
“I want them to remember every day the life they took, just not my son’s but the other person, the kids that are left in these situations,” said Neely. “I would love for them to see a picture and have the picture hanging every day in their cell, every day of their life.”