Father of slain Lamar HS student warns other parents to be aware of kids' social media pages

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Producer, Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - The parents of the 18-year-old Lamar High School student killed in a shooting broke their silence Monday to address what they said are misconceptions about their son.

Delindsey Dwayne Mack was gunned down execution-style on Nov. 13 while walking on Bammel Lane with another student -- a 15-year-old girl was grazed by a bullet -- in what police are calling a gang-related incident.

The family’s spokesperson, senior pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church Dr. D.Z. Cofield, said in a news conference Monday that Mack was portraying himself as a “bedroom gangster.” 

VIDEO: Father of slain Lamar student warns others about social media

“(His father) has guns for his own protection. He has a business that is a large cash business so Delindsey would post a picture of (himself) holding a bunch of cash with a gun -- and would imply somehow that he is involved in some kind of illegal activity,”  Cofield said. 

Cofield spoke about how Mack was just like any other teen who was a lot of talk, but he wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be and that cost him his life.

“We’re not saying it’s not gang-related,” Cofield said. “What we’re saying is Delindsey portrayed himself as a gang member, commented on some gang activity and things that were posted so he got linked into it. And because he was a talker, there is some direct messaging that went forth in terms of, ‘Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? I’m not scared of you. I’m not scared of you,’ not understanding that there are people out there who play for life and death.”

Dwight Mack, Delindsey Mack’s father, spoke briefly, warning parents to pay attention to their kids’ social media. He said the family never realized Delindsey Mack had any social media accounts until after his murder.

“When our kids are at home … no matter where they are they have phones,” Dwight Mack said. “If you don’t get into your kids’ social media pages you’ll be where I am. It’s sad that someone can create a persona on social media to make someone hate them that bad. It used to be a time in my day that someone had to do something to a person physically or to their parents, or to their sisters, or to their brothers. These are simple words and pictures that have brought this to this point.” 

Delindsey Mack had been homeschooled for two years prior to transferring to Lamar High School in 2018 and was getting picked up from campus when the shooting happened. Dwight Mack said he believes whoever killed his son found out he was attending Lamar because he was seen in news footage leaving the campus following a murder-suicide.

The funeral service will be held Tuesday at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. 

Cofield warned that given the nature of Delindsey Mack’s death, there is a zero tolerance policy for any violence and there will be heightened security both at the funeral and on the way to the cemetery. 

The family is asking that any donations be made to the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church and to keep them in their prayers. 

Delindsey Mack's family released a statement before the news conference, saying, “You have to parent with the reality that now it is not just about watching them physically and mentally. Now you have to watch any image that your child puts out through social media, especially when it doesn't reflect them accurately. Oftentimes children project an image that they glorify and not their reality. Just a few wrong strokes on a computer can cost a child his life.”

In a news release, the family addressed the pain they are going through and how they are having to live with the fact that their son will never come home again. 

Police are still investigating the shooting. Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.