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Man surrenders in deadly shooting in front of FOX 17 cameras

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 11:53:36-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- A Battle Creek man surrendered to police for his involvement in a New Year’s Day shooting that left one man dead. The 22-year-old victim died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The family called FOX 17 asking for us to be there during his surrender.

It was the victim’s mother who drove 20-year-old Marquez Austin to the police station to surrender. Tamera Smith is also Austin’s aunt. Smith said that if her nephew killed her son, it was all an accident.

It was tense for Tamera Smith and her nephew while walking hand-in-hand to the police department, turning over Austin for his involvement in her son’s murder.

"Listen, I'm not going to put you in handcuffs, but I need you to put your hands behind your back," said a Battle Creek Police officer.

Voluntarily turning himself in for questioning is something Austin said he knew was the right thing to do.

After losing her 22-year-old son Demoyne Smith in the New Year’s Day shooting on Marjorie Street, Smith said that she wanted her nephew to meet with detectives on his own.

"We brought my nephew down here. Police were doing random searches looking for him and I walked him into the police department to assure his safety," said Smith. "It's like they are chasing him. I don't want them to chase him and I don't want them to scare him. Therefore, we just brought ourselves down there."

Smith said that her family has come together since the deadly shooting, trying to find the strength to move forward with the victim and the possible suspect being cousins.

"The last week I've been trying to deal with my son. It's been fine. Just pray for me, give me the strength to go on, but the last week my job has just been to bury my son," said Smith.

Smith didn't say that her nephew is guilty of killing her son Demoyne, but said that if he is, admitting his involvement is the first step.

"They aren't even really sure who did it. There were 150 bullet casings in my yard. There was supposedly a party. A bunch of people there," said Smith.

As of Tuesday night, Austin is not being charged with the homicide, and is being held on a couple of unrelated warrants.

At the time of Austin’s surrender, Battle Creek Police said they didn’t have a suspect identified, but they were interested in speaking with him.