He was a protector

Teryl Waller, 35, and his girlfriend Latonya Collins have been living together for about 7 years. Also living in the home were Waller’s mother and Latonya’s 3 children.

Family members say that Waller came home drunk about 4:30 am on Monday. They also say that he was enraged and that he was calling everyone in the house names. The kids in the home, all teens, went to their mother’s bedroom to try to get her out of there.

They say that Waller was waving a gun and that he pointed it at the 15 year old daughter, Latoya. Then he fired. Cordarrius Collins, 16, shoved his sister out of the line of fire then ran from the home. The bullet allegedly came so close to Latoya that it left powder burns on her face.

When the family realized that “Darrius” was missing, they began looking for him. They found him in alley outside the home. He had a bullet wound to the chest- allegedly a bullet that been meant for his sister. As the sun was preparing to rise on a new day, Darrius was pronounced dead at 5:20 am.

A lot is being said about Darrius. About how he died trying to protect his family. Darrius was a Junior in high school and both family and the school state he was a model student and teen, responsible for his age and a ballplayer. He played varsity basketball for his school.  

Teryl Waller has been charged with murder. Some have said that Waller has a drinking problem and a history of violence. Though I haven’t found where police has given any indications of Waller’s criminal history.




The impact here is huge. For the family, their protector died while saving them. A heartbroken grandmother doesn’t understand why Darrius didn’t say anything when he was shot. The family literally didn’t know until they found him. Likely pain, shock, confusion and fear just made Darrius want to flee.

The school is meeting with the students, as it is hitting the school hard. This is the second loss for the school this month. On Aug. 2 a coach was returning from a sports activity, and was shot in an unsolved murder. As a basketball player, Darrius would have been known at least by sight, by most of the student body.


1 Comment

  1. August 16, 2006 at 10:40 am

    […] Home Sweet Home has the story of a child who died protecting his family. […]

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