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Victim's family said shooter was holding baby during Mt. Healthy homicide

50-year-old who co-owned a construction company dead
Quenton Dews
Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 25, 2021

CINCINNATI — Police are still looking for a man suspected of killing a Mt. Healthy grandfather over the weekend.

Police believe Shabontez Layson, 21, shot and killed Quenton Dews, 50, Sunday evening in his home on Evencrest Drive.

Mt. Healthy Police Department wrote in a statement that Layson could be armed and dangerous.

Family of Dews said that Layson is the son of Dews' girlfriend.

“This is just unbelievable,” said Casita McCrary, Dews' cousin.

She said Dews was holding his 8-month-old granddaughter when Layson walked into the home, grabbed the child and shot Dews. Family said the child was not hurt physically.

“When we got here, she was hysterical. She wouldn’t stop crying. So, you know, hopefully she can’t remember this,” said Niccole Dews-Freeman.

Police only said they believe Layson is the suspected shooter – they did not provide an account of the incident.

Mt. Healthy Police said in a statement that murder warrants are now on file for Layson. They say he is known to operate a black 2012 Chrysler 200 sedan Ohio license, HQF3261.

If you know of Layson’s whereabouts, officers ask you to contact Crime Stoppers 513-352-3040 or Mt. Healthy Police Detective Jones 513-728-3183 or Hamilton County Sherriff’s Department 513-825-1500.

Shavontez Layson
Shavontez Layson, 21

Dews' family said he was a grandfather of 18 and father of eight.

He was a Northside construction company owner with work reflected in multiple Over-The-Rhine building rehab projects.

“He would hire people when they were down on their luck, if they didn't have experience, if they were homeless,” said McCrary. “He brung a light, and it was a light that was being felt throughout the city. Believe me, he was changing lives.”

Family turned their focus on funeral preparations Monday and helping his legacy live on for those who counted on Dews.

“It’s like a pay it forward. He was blessed. He was doing something positive, and he wanted the next person to pay it forward. He didn't just stop. He wanted them to continue to grow. That way the whole city is growing.”

RELATED: Suspect named in Sunday's Mt. Healthy homicide