BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – Wednesday marks two months since 18-year-old DJ Fields was gunned down in Bluffton.
Police say Fields was one of three people driving along Bluffton Parkway when another car pulled up and opened fire at them. Fields died at the scene, and two others were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Four people have since been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Now, his family is making the anniversary a day to honor his legacy of helping others.
Forty local businesses, restaurants and bars will be donating a portion of their proceeds on DJ’s Day of Giving.
The money raised will help fund scholarships. Fields planned on attending Technical College of the Lowcountry to study welding after he graduated from Bluffton High School.
“I remember a couple of Christmases and we would ask him what do you want,” explains D’won Fields, Sr., DJ’s dad. “He would say I don’t want anything I want to help the kids that didn’t have anything. So we bought a bunch of presents and she took them over to the orphanage in Savannah and he passed out presents.”
“We saw a man on the street and he didn’t have shoes on. He (DJ) was about 12-13,” explains Kema Bryant, Dj’s Mom. “We were walking, he had on a pair of Jordans and he wanted to give the man his Jordans. He wanted to give the man the Jordans literally off of his feet. He would walk back to the car barefoot because the man didn’t have any shoes.”
“It didn’t matter what color or what age,” said D’won “He was always willing to help.”
That’s the spirit of their son DJ Fields, according to his parents.
An 18-year old’s spirit that’s been embraced by the entire community before and after his tragic death.
“I got a phone call saying there was an accident, not knowing that he got shot,” explains DJ’s Father. “That phone call replays in the back of my head like the worst phone call I could ever receive.”
“When i got to the accident scene and friends told me that he didn’t make it. It ripped my heart out.”
“It killed us,” said his emotional mom. “We literally died that same night. It was the worst feeling a parent could ever feel. I felt empty because he was gone. My whole world had crashed.”
“I would do anything to turn back the hands of time to have that last conversation or…” D’won couldn’t finish that statement without bursting into tears.
“I was so numb I couldn’t even cry at the time,” said Bryant. “I felt empty because he was gone. My whole world had crashed.’
“It was just as recent as today that I was able to step foot in his room,” says D’won. “This was the first time since the morning of March 5 that I was able to go into his room.”
“Every time i would get to the door I would turn around. today I actually opened the door.”
“Off and on I would just go sit in his room and cry because it still doesn’t seem real all the time,” says Kema.
“All the people that have reached out to us and continue to reach out to us” Kema smiles as she speaks. “Is there anything you ever need don’t hesitate. A lot of people are even like if you just want to come to sit in the house with us or want us to come to sit with you, we will do that.”
“There are a lot of people who love us and loved him and are reaching out in every way they can.”
“You have a whole community that’s like family,” says Fields. “These days and times you don’t see that. People from all walks of life willing to support you. That shows you what kind of person DJ was.”
“I can’t tell you how many people walk up to me and tell me how they met him and how he just smiled,” says Kema. “Smiled, he was known for his signature smile. except on the football field, where he wouldn’t smile, but off it. He was a big teddy bear.”
“There are people who are way older than us who haven’t had that kind of impact on people in their family let alone a whole community,” says Bryant. “It is just amazing the outpouring we have received. and the love that he’s been shown.”
Love they want to give back to everyone in the community through the Foundation, and building young people’s future.
DJ wanted to learn welding at a trade school, learn how to be a firefighter. Work hard and stand on his own. The foundation will help others realize similar dreams in their own fields.
“It would definitely have been something he would want to have done,” says Kema. “Come back and give back to people. because that’s what he did.”
“(It’s a good thing) especially for kids that are about to go to college and give them an extra push,” said Fields. “Say I have something to look forward to.”
“We got robbed,” said a defiant D’won. “We will celebrate his graduation and we will be a part of the class of 2021 and let these kids know we are here for them and we got their back.”
These still grieving parents still have many questions as the four people accused in their son’s murder sit in prison.
“Why, why would someone do something like this,” explains D’Won. “For a kid that doesn’t have any enemies, don’t want to bother anybody, always wanting to help. But it’s always the good ones that pay for someone else’s lack of thinking.”
“Why. I would just want to know why,” says a teary Kema. “We have all grown up as teenagers and all had people we don’t like or didn’t get along with but to go to such extremes, I don’t have the words to even express it. it just doesn’t make any sense.”
“Now that he’s gone we ask his friends the same thing. He didn’t have any problems with anybody, nobody had beef with him, for him to be gone like that. We just want to know why.”
While they wait for those answers, DJ’s family wants to offer advice to everyone out there before they take their shot. So no other family has to go through what they are right now.
“This could change things if people are not afraid to ask for help,” says D’won. “If they need somebody to talk to, find somebody to talk to.
“Once you decide what you are going to do and you go through with it, you can’t take it back. Once you fire that gun, you can’t stop that bullet.”
The fundraiser will also benefit families impacted by the shooting.