ORLANDO, Fla. – A community is surrounding the family of a man shot dead over the weekend during a candlelit vigil where the mother of the victim is now calling for answers.
“Why,” Tuwanan Ware said. “You know, again he went to work, children, and here.”
Ware sat down with News 6 to talk about her son, 31-year-old Dereck Cummings, who was shot and killed early Saturday morning at the Carrington Park Condominiums in Casselberry.
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Casselberry police said they believe Cummings had an altercation with someone before shots were fired.
“I told the officer I was there that morning,” Ware said, as she described how she found out her son had died.
Ware says by the time officers told her Cummings died she had already prayed over the scene where Cummings was killed, not knowing it was him.
She told News 6 she was picking up her grandchildren and couldn’t see much of the scene at the time. It was when she was talking with the Cummings’ girlfriend about the situation that she learned her son did not come home that night.
Afterwards, she says she became worried and attempted to file a missing person report, but moments later she received news that is was her son that she prayed over at the scene she saw at his complex earlier that day.
“It wasn’t meant for me to see him at that particular point in time,” Ware said. “I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle it, you know being there and knowing that’s where everything took place.”
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Ware said her son was a loving father and well-known Orlando promoter going by the name Antwuan Miles.
The stage name, Antwuan comes from a relative of Cummings he admired as a child.
Ware says the support from the community has been overwhelming, noting constant support flowing online.
On Facebook, Sunday, Antwuan’s name was being shared and discussed by over 1,400 people, with many showing support for the family.
Community members continued to share their love for the promoter and activist by putting together a vigil for the family.
“Sending our prayer and condolences to Antwuan’s mom. Antwuan was not only a promoter, he was an activist, and my friend,” said one person, who attended a candlelit vigil Sunday.
A cross was made during the vigil with Antwuan’s name and signed by those in attendance to give to the family.
“It’s not just the family that is hurting, it’s Orlando. Whomever did this, they took a lot away from the city of Orlando,” Ware said.
As Casselberry police continue their investigation, Ware said she will stay strong for her family.
“I believe God does not make any mistakes, of course, would I want my baby here yes, but I know he is a better place. I do, so I am holding on to faith,” Ware said.
Orange County Commissioner Mike Scott said he’d known Cummings for years, and Cummings always always wanted to give back to the community.
“He was a good dude. He didn’t deserve that.” Scott said.
Scott told News 6 that he’s confident the shooter in this case will be caught, adding that gun violence in has become “just a reoccurring thing.”
“Gun violence is a problem across our country, in our state and in our country...” Scott said. “It really takes the community. It’s not any one thing that government can solve.”
Casselberry police have not released any suspect information at this time. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.
The family has set up a GoFundMe that you can find here.
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