‘My heart was ripped out;’ New Orleans guitarist speaks on grandson’s murder

Durell Brooks, 26, was killed in a shooting on June 8, according to police.
Durell Brooks, 26, was killed in a shooting on June 8, according to police.(Obituary Photo/GoFundMe)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 12:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A popular New Orleans musician says he is trying to be at peace with his grandson’s “senseless” murder.

It took Detroit Brooks weeks to muster up the strength to make a Facebook post about his grandson’s death.

“This, by far has been one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to post,” his tribute began. “As a lot of you know me, I don’t post a lot, but because of God’s strength, I can post this.”

Brooks has been the lead guitarist for New Orleans music legends such as Irma Thomas and Charmaine Neville.

Police say Brooks’ 26-year-old grandson Derell was fatally shot on June 8 in the 8000 block of Trapier Avenue.


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Brooks called the killing “senseless.”

“He was not a gang banger or a drug pusher, he was a kind and gentle human being that would give you everything he had, even the shirt off his back,” the post continues.

Brooks has slowly been coming to grips with the fact that Derell is no longer with his family.

“He is now in the arms of his creator and I’m okay with that. I ask for your continued prayers for my family’s peace and strength. We love him but God loves him more,” he wrote.

Derell’s service will be held Fri., June 24 at the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Viewing will begin at 9 a.m. and services will follow.

The victim’s grandmother, Sandra, set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

“My grandson was kind, loving and gave the best hugs,” she wrote. “He kept you laughing and would give you the shirt off of his back. My heart is broken and our family is devastated.”

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