Loved ones of a 6-year-old boy who detectives say was killed Thursday by a man described by family as an elementary school coach gathered Saturday in South Los Angeles to mourn.
Dayvon Taylor died shortly after he was brought to a Long Beach hospital with serious injuries, according to his father and Downey Police Department officials.
A coroner's investigation determined that the boy's death was a homicide. Investigators have not disclosed specifically how the boy was injured, or where the alleged crime took place.
Downey police detectives arrested Tyler D'Shaun Martin-Brand, 23, of Downey on suspicion of murder about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Los Angeles County booking records show. Police described him as "an acquaintance of the child's mother."
Police released no further details.
The victim's father, David Nicholson, told KTLA he was awaiting information about what happened to his son. He said he was notified about 7p.m. that his son had been hospitalized. Soon after, Dayvon Taylor stopped breathing and died.
Nicholson said he understood the boy was injured while Martin-Brand, who he described as the boy's coach at Normandie Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles, was trying to "chastise" the boy.
Family members gathered at the home of Dayvon Taylor's grandparents for a vigil on Saturday.
They said they couldn't make sense of the tragedy.
"I’m just trying to stand tall right now and be prepared for the worst day, and that’s laying my baby down to rest," father David Nicholson said.
"He’s a baby," grandmother Gwendolyn Nicholson said. "He was a little angel. I don’t think he could have done anything for nobody to put their hands on him. "
"That’s just pure evil," she said.
Dayvon leaves behind seven siblings, family members said.
"I want closure," Nicholson said. "I want closure for my baby, and I want to see this guy with the max."
Bail for Martin-Brand was set at $2 million pending his arraignment hearing, scheduled Monday in the Downey branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.