7-year-old's death makes national impact

Dequante Hobbs to be focus of Essence Festival in NOLA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The killing of 7-year-old Dequante Hobbs has hit nearly every heart in Louisville. 

“He's not a superstar, he's not a professional football player, but he's on stage,” said his aunt Constance Anderson.

A random bullet shot through his home on May 21, and since then, the Louisville community has rallied behind Dequante's family.

More than 200 people showed up at a balloon release last week, and Wednesday night, there was a fundraiser put together by a local catering company, Donald’s Catering. 

“I would want someone to be here for me if it was my child, so I've just been overwhelmed since it happened,” said volunteer Shadonya Reynolds.

Volunteers worked hard to serve food and raise money for Dequante's family. 

“Unfortunately it's a tragic situation, however, I'm glad it's kind of uniting the community,” said Lasonya Rucker, one of the fundraiser’s organizers. 

The support for Dequante has spread farther than Louisville limits.  In June, Dequante's name will shine in New Orleans. 

“He might not be here, but he can go ahead and take his bow cause he's on the stage,” Anderson said. 

Hip hop/rap artist Master P has invited Dequante's family to New Orleans for the 2017 Essence Festival, where Dequante will be the honoree for Master P's first ever 'Team Hope NOLA' Celebrity Basketball game.

“Master P told us that Romeo said he was going to get a jersey made with the number seven,” explained community peace advocate and spokesperson for Master P, Christopher 2X. 

Seven is the age Dequante was when he died, and his favorite number, too.

“All of us are connected to these issues and he said Dequante deserves to be lifted in that way,” said 2X. 

“We wish it didn't have to happen in the first place obviously, but New Orleans has a big heart down there,” said Lousiville Mayor Greg Fischer.

 
Dequante's family told WHAS 11 News they are beyond grateful.


“The love that we have gotten from everybody, it's just really, really mind boggling,” said Anderson.

One seven-year-old is making an impact on those near and far. 

The Essence Festival kicks off June 29.  Dequante’s mother, father, and little sister will be flown out by Master P.  

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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