Derek 'Man' Dean Is Wanted For Gunning Down Twin Brothers, Killing 1 & Taking Off
Police say Derek Dean shot the twins at a 2014 party in St. Louis, and he’s been at large ever since.
ST. LOUIS, MO — A Fourth of July party turned deadly in 2014 when, according to police, Derek “Man” Dean fatally shot twin brothers and went on the lam. Dean has been at large ever since, and authorities are asking for the public’s help.
Family and friends around the Kingsway East neighborhood of St. Louis remember identical twins Edward and Edwin Choee as warm, happy, and positive people. It seemed like everyone knew them and everyone liked them.
Patricia Hamilton-Haymon, the great aunt who raised the twins in her home, says Edwin and Edward brought smiles everywhere they went, and that the brothers were rarely apart. As she put it, “They did everything [together] under the sun, under the moon, under the rain, in the snow.”
Odell Hayden, a cousin who grew up alongside Edward and Edwin in Patricia’s home, recalls the fun he had with the twins, saying, “They would fight each other, but they would love each other the next minute. When we were kids, we’d roll down the steps just to get to the kitchen. We’d wrestle up and down the steps. If you hear creaks in the steps, we probably put those there.”
That’s how life was at Aunt Patricia’s house — always jumping with loved ones, neighbors, good times, and joyful noise. Patricia strived to make sure everyone felt welcome when they entered her home.
Among those who frequently dropped by was Derek "Man" Dean. Patricia said she loved Dean like he was one of her own, and everyone in the house considered him an unofficial family member.
DEATH ROCKS THE FAMILY
In October 2010, the twins lost their older brother Jermaine to a shooting that police believe was gang-related. In the wake of that tragedy, Derek Dean was on hand to provide comfort.
Edwin Choee remembers his brother Edward took Jermaine's death the hardest, saying, “Edward carried that weight on his shoulders. He would call me crying – it could be in the middle of the night — just so hurt by the fact that we lost our brother Jermaine, and especially at the way that he passed away, being gunned down like that.”
Four years later, the irony of the twins mourning their fallen brother would take a nightmarish turn at a backyard party to celebrate Independence Day.
As Edwin recalls, “We cracked jokes. We were getting haircuts. It was the Fourth of July, so it was a celebration. We’re drinking. Dave the barber, he always cuts our hair."
Dean was allegedly on hand for the happy gathering. Edwin said that, at one point, Dean even stopped the twins and complimented them, saying, “‘I’m proud of y’all.’ And he was like, ‘Y’all not in the streets. You both graduated from college. You are both doing good things.’ We hugged and he was like, ‘I love you all. I’m proud of you all.’”
The party stayed upbeat, until the wrong person reportedly brought up Jermaine. A guy named Don — Dean's cousin — was allegedly giving Edward a hard time about the death of his brother. Edward grew increasingly upset and someone summoned Edwin to help him.
Edwin reported, “I remember someone coming back and saying, ‘Hey come and get your brother, he’s tripping. I can hear my brother saying, ‘Don’t bring it up no more.’”
In a flash, the verbal conflict reportedly turned physical. Edwin said Don and Edward were fighting, and Dean wanted to join the melee to defend his cousin.
Just as things seemed to calm down, though, Edwin recalled, a moment occurred that would shatter his life forever. Edwin said, “I didn’t hear anything. I just felt something pass through me and I looked down and I saw smoke against my white T-shirt. And I said, ‘Bro, you shot me?’”
Investigators allege that Dean shot Edwin, who went on to say, “I grabbed my chest and then I kind of like stooped down in a ducking motion and I ran. And then once I ran, I just heard three more gunshots, like ‘Pow! Pow! Pow!’”
Edwin was able to run away and collapse at a neighbor’s home, where Good Samaritans came to his rescue. Edward, though, wasn’t able to escape. Police say Edwin sustained multiple severe gunshot wounds and was rushed to a hospital.
Patricia Hamilton-Haymon remembers running to her nephew’s aid, saying, “When we get to the hospital, they were saying one was having surgery and one was getting ready to go to surgery. Edward. His head and body was so swollen up. And he didn’t look like Edward. He was just like you blew up a balloon too big.”
Edwin said he was conscious and aware of what was happening. “I said, ‘I want to be there whether he makes it or he doesn’t. We’ve been together our entire life, and I want to be there for him, if he doesn’t make it.’”
The hospital staff allowed Edwin go into his brother’s room where, he said, “I grabbed his hand, and I said, ‘If you’re ready to go, then go ahead. I’ll be okay. I’ll figure it out. And if you see Jermaine, and I’m like, go ahead.’”
Edwin says he saw a tear roll down his brother’s face, right before he took his last breath.
THE HEAT IS ON TO FIND DEAN
After the shootings, Dean took off and hasn't been seen since.
Detective Anna Kimble is both an officer of the St. Louis Police Department and a member of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Talking to In Pursuit, Kimble said, “The Marshals Service believes that there are probably family and friends helping him. And they need to know that criminal charges are always possible when you continue to aid and abet a fugitive.”
Looking back on his brother’s death, Edwin said, “Why am I now forced to live without someone who I expected to live with forever? It’s just one of those things where you took everything from me for nothing.”
St. Louis Police say Dean is wanted for murder, assault, and armed criminal action.
Authorities say it’s possible that Derek “Man” Dean is living in the southern or western United States. He could be working in construction and doing some type of electrical work in exchange for cash.
In Pursuit correspondent Callahan Walsh has emphasized the potential for the public to help bring Dean to justice, stating “Police are at a dead end. This family’s biggest hope now … is you.”
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS:
- Weight: 150 – 160 pounds
- Height: 5 feet, 5 inches
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black
- Gender: Male
- Race: Black
- Date of birth: February 9, 1976
- Location of crime: St. Louis, Missouri
- Last seen: St. Louis, Missouri
- Buff build, but may have possibly gained weight at some point
- Generally goes by the nickname “Man”
- Known to do electrical work previously
If you know anything about this case or where to find this suspect, please contact our hotline (833-3-PURSUE) or submit a tip online.
For more on this case, watch the “When Good Meets Evil” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, February 27 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.