Hearts are broken around Tuscaloosa County after a young mother and her son were killed in what investigators called a domestic violence incident turned murder-suicide.
Derika Shanice McGhee, 29, and her 8-year-old son Aiden Carter Williams were found shot to death inside their home in the Hinton Place neighborhood early Thursday morning. Their killer, 34-year-old Darrin Patton Jr., was found dead, too. Investigators said all signs point to Patton having killed McGhee and Williams before turning the gun on himself.
It’s a tragedy McGhee’s father Tommy Sanders said he’ll never get over.
Sanders said his daughter and her son were amazing people who deserved a happy, full life filled with even more success than they’d already accomplished.
“She was an independent Black woman,” Sanders said. “An entrepreneur. She went into the Navy, and when she got out of the Navy she went to work at the VA.”
McGhee was an amazing mom to her son, Sanders said.
“She was an awesome mom,” he said. “It’s always about her and Aiden. Always Aiden. She was that type of mom who would go get it. For her age, she was an outstanding mom. Super Mom I call her.”
And Aiden was just growing into his own.
“Aiden was the life of the party,” Sanders said. “He liked to run. He is just an amazing child, very smart, very intelligent. He was a blessing for me because he gets me up, he keeps me young. I am 55 but I feel like I’m 22 when I’m with him. You just don’t know. But I miss him. I really miss him.”
Family of murder-suicide victims speaks out regarding sudden, tragic loss – WVUA23