Family asks for answers months after son of US Navy sailor was murdered – NBC 7 San Diego


For Adrienne and Norman Brown, the past five months have been a nightmare.

“I can’t sleep, my hair is thinner, I’m losing weight,” said Adrienne Mills. “It’s just awful. It’s horrible.”

Their only son, Cornelius Donte Brown, 22, was killed after opening the door to his apartment in La Mesa on April 24.

“I was told you knew they had a little reunion,” Brown said. “And maybe eight to ten people were there, his apartment. All were in the Navy except maybe one or two, three at most. [Someone knocked and] he went to the door and was shot.

Witnesses inside the apartment at the time of the shooting told police that two men wearing ski masks and black sweatshirts were behind the shooting.

“Donte was a very well-liked young man,” said Norman Brown, his father. “It’s just terribly hard to believe that anyone can kill themselves.

Brown was an active-duty US Navy sailor stationed at Coronado Naval Station. He was a Petty Officer Third Class on the USS Abraham Lincoln and had been on the ship since 2018.

He was a former basketball star and his parents described him as outgoing, caring and loved by everyone.

“Donte was destined to be a very successful man and someone came and took him,” his father said.

Now, five months later, the family say they are no closer to who did this or why. But they are convinced that there is someone with information about his killer.

“I would ask that they come forward and end this family,” his father said. “Yes, it’s been a long time but I don’t want another black man killed and the killer released.”

His family is making a moving appeal for tips as they seek justice and hope for the closure.

NBC 7 has contacted the La Mesa Police Department for an update on the investigation and police said they are actively investigating and following leads regarding Brown’s murder. They have not been able to release any information at this time.