DeKalb County

Video shows father discover son dead at DeKalb gas station before being charged with murder

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A Dekalb County father is facing second-degree murder charges after his 7-year-old son was shot and killed at a gas station.

Channel 2′s Elizabeth Rawlins obtained surveillance video showing 42-year-old Dante Daugherty coming out of the convenience store and discovering his lifeless child in the back seat of the car.

The shooting happened on Labor Day around 6:30 p.m. at the Texaco gas station in Lithonia.

The gun was inside the car when it went off, police said. Another child was in the car when the shooting happened, but it’s unclear if the 7-year-old shot himself or the other child accidentally fired the gun.

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Rawlins spoke to the store clerk who called 911. She says Daugherty is a regular customer and he was inside the store playing the lottery when the shooting happened.

The video does not actually show the shooting but, eventually, you can see and sense the panic. The car door flings open and a child runs across the parking lot towards the busy intersection.


Minutes later, the father returns to the car to find the other child in the backseat with a gunshot wound.

It’s unclear who actually pulled the trigger but DeKalb County police eventually arrested the frantic and distraught father who is now facing murder and child cruelty charges.

On Wednesday, Daughterty was denied bond at his first court appearance.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington spoke to a trial lawyer Andrew Fleishman Wednesday about why Daugherty faces second-degree murder charges.

“If someone takes a substantial and justifiable risk and something bad happens, and if that substantial and justifiable risk resulted in a child dying, if you have those elements, then you have everything to prove murder second,” Fleishman said.

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