WARREN - Darlene Dukes said she knows of the life her son led and is well aware of the crimes he committed.
Still, the pain that has gripped the Warren woman's heart this week is a reality that she said she wouldn't wish on anyone.
Dukes said she is attempting to pull the pieces together in the wake of the Sunday morning shooting death of her 32-year-old son, Marco Dukes, also of Warren.
She said her son, who was released from prison earlier this year, was "finally putting his life on the right track" when he was killed.
"People know of him, but they didn't know him," she said. "But he was my son. I knew him, and no matter what, he was still my son. I was with him all the way. I never turned my back on him, no matter what."
Gunfire broke out on Elm Court between Market and High streets just before 10:30 a.m., according to reports. Police said it was apparent that assault weapons were used in the shootings. Officers recovered numerous shell casings in a parking lot in that area.
Tribune Chronicle / Virginia Shank
Darlene Dukes, Warren, comforts her grandson, Marco Dukes Jr., son of Marco Dukes Sr., 32, who died Sunday during a shooting on Elm Court.
Dukes said her son was called to his death and that a man known to him had asked to meet him at an Elm Court apartment.
"He was gunned down," she said. "He called Marco, and Marco went over there. Within minutes, my son was shot. He was dead. The way that he was shot, in the face, in the head, I know that he died right then and there. That just isn't right. No one deserves to die like that."
Police apprehended two Detroit men, Reginald F. Baldwin, 21, and Dale A. Hatch, 25, shortly after the shootings.
Charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault, Hatch was scheduled to be arraigned today. He remained in Trumbull County Jail Tuesday.
Baldwin, released from jail around 11 a.m. Tuesday, has not been charged.
A third man police have not named was taken into custody on Tuesday and was being held for questioning, officers said.
Dukes' nephew, Larry Smith, 29, 2305 Jackson St., S.W., Warren, also was shot. He remains in Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Dukes said Smith is sore, but is expected to fully recover.
Police were looking for a third man believed to have been wounded; however, it was not clear whether he is the man police were questioning Tuesday.
Dukes said she realizes some of the choices her son, who leaves five children, made inevitably caught up with him on Sunday and that his associations with individuals from Detroit made him a target.
He garnered a long list of encounters with local law enforcement over the past several years - ranging from traffic violations to weapons and drug charges to felonious assault, according to court records.
Despite his embattled past, Dukes said her son and his family are entitled to justice.
"The people responsible for this need to be held accountable for it," she said.
Dukes lost her other son in an accident a few years ago.
"Marco had changed," said Keysa Wiley, his older sister. "He was changing on the inside. We could see that. He loved his children, his family. He was trying to turn things around and do the right thing."
Dukes said that she is trying to focus on how happy her son was recently, as he planned and held a birthday party for his son, Markey, 13, on Nov. 7.
"We were doing good and he was spending time with us," said his 15-year-old son, Marco. "Then they had to go and do this. They had to take my dad away."
Dukes' death marks the fifth homicide in Warren this year.