WASHINGTON– Twenty-six year-old NeShante Davis left her Fort Washington condominium building Feb. 3 with her two-year-old daughter in tow. Davis was on her way to work at Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Capitol Heights.
What Davis didn’t realize was that as she left, the father of her daughter was waiting for the two with a gun in a car parked down the street. Angry over court-ordered child support payments of $600, Daron Boswell-Johnson admitted to police that he confronted and shot the two multiple times.
Boswell Johnson is now in jail and has been charged with first and second degree murder.
Still in shock over their senseless murders, friends and family are trying to celebrate the life of a young woman who they remember as a devoted mom with a passion for teaching and her young daughter.
“She was always the big sister, that big cousin, no matter who you were,” said James Berryhill, NeShante Davis’s cousin.
Berryhill said he wasn’t surprised when Davis decided to become a teacher, recalling the many times the two would play school when they were children.
After spending several years as a teacher’s aide at Bradbury Elementary School, Davis– a single mother– paid her way through college at Bowie State University and earned a degree in teaching.
Davis was halfway through her first year of teaching. So was Alicia Rowden, a friend and colleague, who considered Davis a constant companion as the two learned the ropes when it came to running a classroom.
“We would text each other silly little questions or ideas that would pop into our heads for what to do with our students,” Rowden said at a vigil for the mother and daughter.
In addition to having a special connection with her students, Davis is also remembered as having a strong bond with parents at the school. Deona Strong said that over the past few months, Davis went from being her daughter’s teacher to becoming a close friend.
“She had a reach like no other, she walked through those doors each and every morning prepared to change the lives of those she touched,” Strong said.
When asked about Davis’s daughter, a heartbroken Berryhill smiled as he recalled the joy she brought to the family.
“Chloe was the baby that just brightens your day when you see her, automatically,” he said.
Berryhill said the family is glad there has been some resolution with the arrest of Boswell-Johnson.
The family didn’t want to discuss the relationship Boswell-Johnson had with his daughter or her mother leading up to their murders.
Berryhill said he does hope this tragedy will bring to light the seriousness of domestic violence.
“I’m sure NeShante was never fearful or afraid. If there were any signs of domestic violence, she probably brushed it off in an effort to be a shoulder for someone else,” Davis’ sister Georgia Fraser told the crowd at Friday’s vigil.
Fraser urged those listening to recognize signs and symptoms of domestic abuse and remove themselves from bad situations.
“In honor of NeShante and Chloe’s memory, let’s not allow something like this to happen to anyone else,” Fraser said.