LILBURN — Deandre Vega’s second birthday was only three weeks away. But because of an altercation between his father and grandfather — one that led to gunfire and one fatal bullet — he didn’t make it.
Vega and his father, 29-year-old Rochell McCoy, were reportedly visiting his grandfather’s home on Stafford Drive in Lilburn Tuesday night when the two adults began arguing. The grandfather, 39-year-old Luis Efrain Torres, pulled out a weapon at about 9:55 p.m., police said.
“During the argument Torres produced a handgun and fired several shots at McCoy in the driveway of the home,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. “One of the shots struck Vega.”
The child was rushed to the hospital but — at just 23 months old, according to a spokesman from the Gwinnett medical examiner’s office — later died from his injuries. No one else was hit.
"I don't know the number of shots or where McCoy was in relation to Vega," Smith said.
Neighbor Rex Knot said he was sitting on his porch Tuesday night when he heard two gunshots and stepped into the yard. A man who identified himself as Deandre’s father was screaming, Knot said.
“He was messed up,” Knot said. “He was crying hysterically.”
Torres remained at the scene, police said, and was taken into custody without incident. He’s been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault and was being held at the Gwinnett County jail without bond.
On Wednesday, two cars sat in the driveway at 5238 Stafford Drive, part of an unnamed residential neighborhood at the end of Burns Road. Knocks on the door went unanswered.
Vega and his father were believed to be Norcross residents.