Two brothers of UFC fighter Dequan Townsend have died following an August shooting.
Marcus Jackson-Burton, 32, and his half-brother, Steven Lee Jackson, 31, both died following a shooting that took place at a Lansing, Michigan strip mall on August 4, per the Lansing State Journal. Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting. Jackson-Burton was pronounced dead shortly after.
“With great sadness, I have to announce today that at six o’clock (Tuesday) afternoon, Marcus (Jackson-Burton) was also pronounced dead,” Miranda Hinton, Jackson-Burton’s mother, said.
“My son had his children with him for a month on summer vacation,” Hinton said of Jackson-Burton. “And all he did on Monday was bring them home to their mother, drop them off, met with his brother, and an hour later I get a phone call at work, that your son has been shot.”
A suspect, Zacharey Leigh Diederichs, was arrested and charged with murder, assault with intent to murder and five weapons counts. Jackson-Burton's death will likely lead to amended charges.
“Marcus was only in town for an hour,” said Townsend. “I didn’t even get a chance to see Marcus.”
“Me and Marcus, you wouldn’t see one without the other,” Townsend continued. “We vacation together, we talk on the phone every day. That’s my best friend."
Townsend expressed how difficult the deaths are for him and his family.
“I was always proud of him,” Townsend said. “I supported him moving to Atlanta to follow his dreams and dancing. He was in dance school here and had a bigger opportunity in Atlanta.”
“It’s hard to grieve when I have to be strong for my older brothers and my sister and for my family, to try to keep my head held high. But this hurts. This truly broke my heart,” Townsend assured.
A firearm was recovered during the investigation, according to police.