‘He has the best heart I’ve ever seen,’ family of man killed on Gervais St. wants to push for change

Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 6:57 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - We are learning new details today in the shooting death of 21-year-old Darold Dantzler II.

Police say someone shot him, and two others at a party over the weekend. According to authorities, that gathering was at the Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge where "Metro's Most Wanted Motorcycle Club," was hosting a party for their tenth anniversary, with hundreds in attendance.

Dantzler II’s family spoke with WIS Monday because they want someone to come forward so they can find out why Dantzler II was killed. They also want to shed a light on gun violence, so that this does not happen to another family.

It was difficult beyond belief for the Dantzler family to take us through the shooting that happened on Gervais Street on Sunday.

“We figured well maybe he was with the crowd that actually got out we were just waiting to hear from him and of course that phone call never came,” said Darold Dantzler, the father of Dantzler II.

“I actually saw him laying on the ground, and, distraught is the best word I can probably come up with right now, life-changing,” said Darius Dantzler, the twin brother of Dantzler II.

“It’s just a tight-knit family that’s really hurting at the moment,” said Myra Dantzler, the mother of Dantzler II.

For a moment, they broke away from that horrible morning to tell us about who Dantzler II was.

“He graduated from Midlands Middle College. He had career goals and his next adventure was he was going to be an 18 wheeler, try to be a truck driver, he was studying for his CDL,” Darold Dantzler said.

“People were calling me like your brother. I need him, ‪1 o’clock in the morning, my car breaks down, or I got a flat tire, he’s dead tired, he’ll go, out of his heart. He has the best heart I’ve ever seen,” Darius Dantzler said.

The Dantzlers then switched to channeling their pain into energy, hoping as a family, they can create a change.

“One, we do need tougher legislation to minimize guns in the wrong hands so that another family doesn’t have to go through what we went through,” Darold Dantzler said. “You can’t make change being silent, so this moment has changed our lives forever.”

Columbia Police said the other two men who were shot are still in the hospital and being treated for non-life threatening injuries. They have not been identified, but we’re told they are ages 29 and 37.

After Sunday’s shooting South Carolina Representative Seth Rose, who was contacted by the Dantzler’s, said he wants to see change happen when it comes to gun legislation.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook has also sent a letter to lawmakers to create ‘commonsense gun action.’

Police say they are aware that video or pictures were taken during the party. They believe those images could help them find those responsible. You can contact them anonymously if you have any information by calling CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-888 CRIME-SC. You could also be eligible for a cash reward.

This year Columbia Police have investigated the shooting deaths of 6 people. Chief Holbrook says that is 2 more than this time last year.

In 2018, there were 16 homicides in the city of Columbia.

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