South Carolina

‘Forever in our hearts.’ Teen killed in DaBaby altercation honored one year later

Family and friends of Jaylin Craig posed for photos before collecting litter on LaSalle and nearby streets in north Charlotte Saturday afternoon to honor his legacy of giving.
Family and friends of Jaylin Craig posed for photos before collecting litter on LaSalle and nearby streets in north Charlotte Saturday afternoon to honor his legacy of giving. jmarusak@charlotteobserver.com

Jaylin Domonique Craig’s family and friends on Saturday recalled him as the best of role models.

He graduated from West Charlotte High School, worked hard at his full-time job at a Rock Hill dye maker and was always there for them in their times of need, they said.

“He was like a big brother to me,” Kaiya Mitchell, 19, said.

Her boyfriend, Henry Douglas, 21, was Jaylin’s best friend.

“If it was the other way around, he’d do it for you,” Douglas said of why he, his girlfriend and Craig’s family were out collecting litter on LaSalle and nearby streets in north Charlotte.

Craig, 19, was fatally shot during a fight in a Walmart on Bryton Town Center Drive in Huntersville on Nov. 5, 2018, police said.

The altercation involved Charlotte rapper DaBaby, whose given name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk.

Kirk was tried in June before a Mecklenburg County District Court judge who found him guilty of misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon, The Charlotte Observer previously reported. The 27-year-old rapper was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.

In an obscenity-laced video on YouTube two days after the shooting, DaBaby said he was in the store shopping with his 1- and 5-year-olds and their mother when someone pulled a gun “and tried to take my life,” the Observer reported.

Police never charged anyone with murder or manslaughter in Craig’s death.

His family and friends now hope “to keep his memory alive and his legacy alive” through such volunteer efforts as Saturday’s litter pickup, Craig’s 31-year-old sister, Nykeria Horsley, said.

“And we’re giving back to the community he was raised in,” she said.

“We’re doing this as a reflection of the type of person Jaylin was,” Craig’s cousin, Quinae Horsley, said. “Jaylin will forever be in our hearts.”

On Saturday, about 25 people ages 3 to 65 wore fluorescent lime green T-shirts with Craig’s image as they picked up the litter with “Keep Charlotte Beautiful” trash grabbers.

Their 1 1/2-hour effort through Charlotte’s Adopt-A-Street program was the second time they’ve done a sweep.

Jaylin Domonique Crai_fitted.jpeg
Jaylin Domonique Craig Grier Funeral Service Inc.

Family and friends also plan to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte and feed Charlotte’s homeless, Craig’s aunt Felicia Yates, 54, said. She was a second mother to Craig, she said.

“Charlotte will know who he was” through such efforts, Yates said of her nephew. “They need to see the true side of him.”

Related stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
  Comments