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Because of a reporting error, a previous version of this story inaccurately described Blue Jacket Inc.
Victim 28

Dashawn Jermell Martin


Malik Martin, 5, may not have had his father present for his school's Men's Day this past December, but he had a more than willing stand-in.

Al Martin, great-grandfather to Malik, and grandfather to homicide victim Dashawn Jermell Martin, says he tries to spend as much time as he can with the four young children his grandson left behind.

Martin, 21, was shot to death outside an apartment on the 2700 block of Millbrook Drive on July 31 alongside Sidney Earl Gates, who was stabbed to death. Police reported a large amount of illegal drugs were found at the scene. A third man seen fleeing from the area has yet to be identified

The case remains open, but police believe Gates and Martin killed each other during a drug transaction, officials said.

Martin is survived by parents Alvell Martin and Montinik Robinson; three siblings; fiancée Rayven Richardson; and children, Malik, Dathan, 3, Jaquavion, 3, and Ariza, 2.

Al Martin said the grandson he knew never missed a chance to help cut the grass or call just to say hello.

"People are going to talk, but he was a good kid," he said. "He was always there for me – he never turned me down."

Martin had been released from prison in October 2012 after serving time for violating the terms of his suspended sentence for possession of cocaine, according to court documents.

Al Martin said his grandson completed vocational training after his release through Blue Jacket Inc., an organization that serves all hard-to-employ populations, including ex-offenders. However, Martin had been unsuccessful in obtaining employment.

"There are not enough jobs for teenage kids. When I first came here at 18, I got a job right away," he said.

Retired from General Electric, Al Martin's schedule now includes baby-sitting, bowling and school programs. During Men's Day, Martin was able to visit Malik's class and have lunch with him.

"We had a good time," he said.