Family Seeks Justice For Teen Found Burned And Fatally Shot On Brooklyn Railroad Tracks

DeAndre Matthews, a Black gay teenager, was found dead on train tracks in Brooklyn, New York, and his family demands justice for what they believe was a hate crime.

February 22, 2023
Deandre Matthews, 19, pictured here, was found dead on freight train tracks in Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York on Feb. 10, 2023.

A Black gay teen was found dead on train tracks in Brooklyn, New York, and his family demand justice for what they believe is a hate crime.

Photo by: NYPD

NYPD

On Feb. 7, 2023, DeAndre Matthews, a Black 19-year-old from Brooklyn, was found dead on the freight train tracks in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York. He lived and worked not far from where his body was discovered.

Danielle Matthews, the teen’s mother, reported him missing on Feb. 7, and she tracked down the SUV her son had been driving with the vehicle’s tracking function, according to ABC News. She found it parked about 10 minutes from where she lived with her son. She told News 12 that the vehicle was burnt, and there were no signs of her son.

DeAndre’s body was found nearby at around 4 p.m. that same day. He had burns throughout his body, and he had a gunshot wound to his head that killed him. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and his death was ruled a homicide, reported NBC News.

The victim’s mother and sister believe he was targeted and this was a hate crime. His sister Dajanae Gillespie told NBC New York, “He was gay. And I feel as if this could’ve been a hate crime. I want to know why [the killer] did it. What was the reason? Deandre wasn’t a violent person. This wasn’t for retaliation. He wasn’t in the streets.”

“I don’t know, but I believe it was a hate crime. Who would kill a beautiful soul like that?” Danielle asked.

DeAndre Matthews was an accomplished student who was majoring in criminal justice at the State University of New York Broome Community College in Binghamton, and he was the first one in his family to attend college. He worked hard, taking on two jobs, and he also loved spending time with his family. CBS News reported that DeAndre was known for his sense of humor, and he also enjoyed driving and playing video games.

"He was a funny kid. He was a sweet kid. DeAndre would try to find the good in everyone...and I believe that was his downfall," his mother Danielle told 12 News.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

Next Up

Michigan Police Search For Killer Of Transgender Woman Who Recently Graduated Nursing School

Ashia Davis was a “beautiful soul with a heart of gold,” a friend says.

Birmingham Woman Found Shot And Burned After Going To Make A Facebook Marketplace Purchase

Jermiera Ivory Fowler went missing from Birmingham, Alabama on May 31, 2023. The next day, her burning body was found on a dead-end road near a wooded area.

Beloved Detroit Neurosurgeon Found Murdered In His Home

Detroit neurosurgeon Devon Hoover, 53, was discovered fatally shot and wrapped in a blanket in the crawl space of his attic on April 23, 2023. Police are now searching for answers about his murder.

Brooklyn Teen Charged With Hate Crime In Killing Of O'Shae Sibley

O'Shae Sibley was voguing to Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album when Dmitriy Popov began spewing racist, homophobic slurs at him before allegedly fatally stabbing him in the chest.

Police Seek Possible Witnesses To 22-Year-Old Brooklyn Woman’s Murder

On Sept. 21, 2022, police responding to reports of a foul odor at a Brooklyn, New York apartment found the dismembered remains of 22-year-old D'Asia Johnson stuffed into a suitcase.

Brave Patrons Helped Stop The Colorado Springs Nightclub Shooting

On Nov. 19, 2022, five innocent people lost their lives at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, before patrons of the nightclub confronted and stopped the shooter.

Unsolved Mystery: Pennsylvania Woman Shot Dead While Shoveling Snow In Her Driveway

Louisa Krenzel was hit by multiple bullets fired from a distance, investigators determined.

Rhonda Sue Coleman’s Small-Town Murder Is Still A Whodunit After 30 Years

Nobody was ever charged for the murder of a high school senior last seen leaving a house party just weeks before she was set to graduate.

Man Wrongfully Convicted Of 4 Murders Shot Dead At Funeral 22 Months After His Exoneration

Christopher Williams spent three decades in prison and 25 years on death row after “the system failed,” his lawyer says.

Oregon Man Fatally Stabbed After Defending His Friend From Harassment

Colin Smith, a 32-year-old Portland man, was stabbed to death at a local bar on July 2 while defending his friend from anti-LGBTQ harassment.