Cleophus Dante Swann, known as Donte to his family and friends, was 18 years old, and a St. Paul’s Academy senior, when he was shot to death April 20, 2012. Donte was found dead about 8:20 p.m. on East 54th Street near Bull Street.
Swann left his father’s tinting shop, where he worked, around 8 p.m. to fill his car up with gas a few blocks away. Police found his car on Savannah’s east side.
Donte was set to graduate from St. Paul’s Academy in August, with just one class left to take. He would either go to college or work for his dad and eventually take over the family business, Swann Tinting off Derenne Ave.
Swann’s mother Lateshia Bryant has been a strong advocate for her son. “I just never thought anything like this would happen because we kept him out of the streets, didn’t let him go certain places. Don’t you go over there,” Bryant recalled. Bryant also feared Donte’s pride and joy, his 1983 blue Chevy Monte Carlo, would draw unwanted attention. Bryant says police told the family they believed two men shot their son, for his car, and left him for dead. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know exact details. I just know that’s my baby. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare and I will wake up and my baby will be here, but he’s not,” she said.
For Swann’s family, they call it senseless, unthinkable and exactly what they say they tried to protect their little boy from.
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