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Grandma of slain NYC tot Davell Gardner issues heartbreaking plea

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The grandma of tragic little Davell Gardner Jr. on Friday praised the bust of his accused killer but said it also took her back to when she held the tot’s lifeless body — as she issued a heartbreaking plea.

“[The violence] needs to stop because too many people are getting hurt. You got innocent bystanders getting hurt by it. It needs to stop,” Samantha Gardner told The Post by phone from her Brooklyn home.

Dashawn Austin is the accused killer of 1-year-old child Davell Gardner Jr.
Dashawn Austin is the accused killer of 1-year-old child Davell Gardner Jr.

The grandmother said Thursday’s news of the arrest of alleged gangbanger Dashawn Austin, 25, in the stray-bullet slaying of her 1-year-old grandson at a cookout in Bedford-Stuyvesant in July 2020 was bittersweet because she had to relive that night.

Samantha Gardner kept a photo of her grandson near her Christmas tree last winter.
Samantha Gardner kept a photo of her grandson near her Christmas tree last winter.
Paul Martinka

“It brought me right back to day when they pronounced [Davell] dead, and I just held him, just crying all over him, you know, and he couldn’t feel me, he couldn’t hear me, he couldn’t see me,” the baby’s grandmother said.

Samantha Gardner said Dashawn Austin was not the only one who had a hand in her grandson's death.
Samantha Gardner said Dashawn Austin was not the only one who had a hand in her grandson’s death.
Paul Martinka

“I’m holding my dead grandson … I kissed him. I said, ‘Why, why did they do this to you?’ And I said, ‘Grandma will always love you.’”

Gardner railed against the current frightening atmosphere in some parts of the city because of such violence.

The front page of The Post from May, 7 2021.
The front page of The Post from May, 7 2021.
The front page of The Post from July 14, 2020.
The front page of The Post from July 14, 2020.

“You should be able to go out in the park, but guess what? It’s not like it used to be  years and years ago when the people in the neighborhood were together and everybody was united as one — you know, family-setting type-stuff,” she told The Post.

“Things have changed.”

Davell Gardner Jrs.'s mother crying after her son was killed last year.
Davell Gardner Jrs.’s mother cries after her son was killed in July 2020.
G.N.Miller/NYPost

As for Austin’s arrest, “it’s justice for my grandson — and it’s just the beginning,” Gardner said. “I say that because there was a lot of individuals that had part into my grandson’s death.”

A small casket containing the body of Davell Gardner, Jr. is wheeled out of the church after his funeral service.
A small casket containing the body of Davell Gardner, Jr. is wheeled out of the church after his funeral service.
Seth Wenig/AP

The grandmother said she plans to attend court hearings for Austin to make sure justice carried out for her grandson, who she remembered as a kind-hearted boy who loved apples.

Samantha Gardner called the recent arrest "justice" for her grandson after his slaying last summer.
Samantha Gardner called the recent arrest “justice” for her grandson after his slaying in the summer of 2020.
Stephen Yang

“He just loved eating his apples under my table. Sometimes it hurts when I go get apples because, you know, because I know he loved the apples so I always made sure I kept apples in my house for him,” she said.

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Janice Hill

Janice is a Co-Founder of NetDebaito Official & a family member of Brit Media 360. Our News HUB aiming to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific viewpoint for each story catered. Every project is a proficient journalisms' who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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