LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — The mother of a murdered sailor made an emotional plea for answers, after her son was gunned down answering a door knock at his La Mesa apartment last weekend.
Donte Brown, 22, was shot in the chest and neck just before 12:30 a.m. on April 24 after he answered the door of his apartment in the 4300 block of Echo Court, according to police. He was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died during surgery.
Witnesses inside the apartment at the time of the shooting told police that two male adults wearing ski masks and black-hooded sweatshirts were behind the shooting.
Brown was an active-duty U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Naval Base Coronado who was originally from South Carolina, according to La Mesa Police Department. He was a Third Class Petty Officer on the USS Abraham Lincoln and had been on the ship since July 2018.
Brown joined the Navy in February 2018 and the Lincoln was his first assignment after boot camp and school.
"This is a deep and tragic loss for our Abraham Lincoln and Navy family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Petty Officer Brown's family and loved ones," said Brian O’Rourke, a Navy spokesperson.
"Why would someone to take my only child? Why would they do that," said a tearful Adrienne Brown-Mills, Brown's mother.
Brown-Mills said she doesn't know anybody who would want to hurt her son.
"He was humble, kind, sweet and funny. He was a character, liked to dance and sing. He loved basketball ... During a 10-month deployment, he was always encouraging his shipmates. He was helping them pray. He was always positive, very uplifting," said Brown-Mills.
Brown-Mills made an emotional plea for tips.
"Please do the right thing. That's all I pray and ask, to come forth, so I can be at peace," said Brown-Mills.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help Brown's family with expenses.
Detectives have asked anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call LMPD at 619-667-1400 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-TIPS.