News & Features, October 2021

‘Devoted, authentic and intelligent’: SAU community remembers Eric Deese II, who was fatally shot in Charlotte

Eric Deese II, a 19-year-old freshman at Saint Augustine’s University, tragically passed away due to gun violence on Oct. 6.

The fatal shooting took place in Charlotte, N.C., where Deese was from. According to an Oct. 10 press release from the City of Charlotte, detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Homicide Unit have charged Damion Lamont McDonald, 20, for his involvement in this incident.

McDonald was charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, the press release stated. The release stated that the investigation is “active and ongoing.” An earlier press release stated that police charged Brian Adam Monroy, 19, with murder on Oct. 8. A 17-year-old juvenile male has also been charged for his involvement in this incident, that press release said.

Deese’s homegoing service was held on Oct. 12 at the church he attended, St. Paul Baptist Church located in Charlotte.
James Benton, a recruiter for the Saint Augustine’s Office of Admissions, spoke at the service. Benton recalled how Deese had a lot of support from his family.

His mother and grandmother “stayed on me about him,” Benton said at the service. He joked that he got so many calls that he knew he had to check up on Deese regularly.

“I made sure he went to school, I made sure he stayed prayed up,” Benton said. “…He tried so so hard but trouble kept pulling him.”

Lashanti McGriff, a sophomore psychology major, met Deese on the second day after moving onto campus when both were freshmen and they became close friends. “He opened up to me on a lot of personal things,” McGriff said. “No one really would know who he really was if you never had a deep conversation with him. I am grateful I got the chance to meet such a beautiful soul.”

McGriff added: “His mother wanted better for him because where he grew up was really rough. Every thing he did was to please his mother, so he came to college to better himself for her.”

McGriff said Deese was undecided what to major in but he wanted to do something involving sports
Deese was “devoted, authentic, and intelligent,” McGriff said.

— Jessica Saintil and Alyssa Berry