Austin Man Dies Just Shy of His Son's Birth, Weeks After Being Shot

By DNAinfo Staff on September 20, 2013 9:20am

AUSTIN — Every day for six weeks, one of Lamarius Tatum's family members spent the day at the hospital with him in hopes he would recover from being shot six times.

On Wednesday, his cousin and older brother Tye Tatum were at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where they watched him from behind glass.

"I watched my brother die at 6:17 a.m. yesterday," Tye Tatum said Thursday morning. "Can you imagine how I feel?"

Tatum was shot in his chest about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 8 in the 1100 block of North Waller Avenue, police said.

Family said the 23-year-old, whose girlfriend is due to have his son, Lamarius Jr., within weeks, was visiting friends in his old neighborhood.

They believe he was just walking to his car when someone shot him six times.

Police confirmed Tatum was shot multiple times, but wouldn't say how many bullets hit him.

Kendra Tatum, 26, said she believed her outgoing brother had no enemies and wasn't involved with gangs or criminal life, though police said he was a documented gang member.

"He liked being a big brother, even though he was the youngest," Kendra Tatum said. "He liked telling people what to do."

The afternoon he was shot, Tatum had talked with his sister on the phone to check in on her two-month-old son, who he called "Nep Nep."

"He asked what was 'Nep Nep' doing and if I was going to cook," she said. "I didn't know that would be our last conversation."

Tye Tatum said his baby brother's death was caused by this feeling in Chicago's African-American communities that living with violence is the only way to live.

"I'm in one of the most prosperous cities in the U.S.A., yet still I'm at war and there will come a time when I'm buried next to my brother."

Kyla Gardner contributed.

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