CMU suspect’s brother mourns parents, supports sibling

The Detroit News

The older brother of the Central Michigan University student accused of killing their parents in a campus dorm room says the shootings last week have him in “shock and even in denial.”

Russell Matthew Davis, center, posted on Facebook this photo of his mother Diva Davis, left, and his sister, Alexis Davis

Russell Matthew Davis, a doctoral divinity student and a member of the Church of God in Christ denomination, wrote in a post on Facebook this weekend that “it’s a hard pill to swallow, a heavy load to bear” that his brother James Davis Jr., 19, is accused of killing their parents, James Davis Sr. and Diva Jeneen Davis on Friday on the CMU campus.

“I can’t wrap my mind around this, nor make any sense of this,” Davis wrote in a Saturday post accompanied by photos of his parents and his sister, Alexis Davis.

Meanwhile, a family friend said Sunday that the children were well raised by “doting parents” who raised Davis Jr. “phenomenally.”

“I’ve known him since he was 4 or 5,” Jordan Murphy said of the teen. “From knowing the family … something out-of-character occurred. Something external affected the situation that caused this unfortunate tragedy to occur.”

Murphy, 41, worked from 2004-08 with Davis Sr. in Chicago as Illinois Army National Guard recruiters.

He said the couple were “loving, ever-present doting parents” to the children.

“They couldn’t brag on their children enough,” he said. “This was a nuclear family — mother and father together, raising their children with values.”

Murphy said his family lived within 2 miles of the Davis family in Plainfield before relocating to St. Johns, Florida.

“Junior is a good kid. He’s a great young man,” Murphy said of Davis Jr. “He’s the kind of young man who would hold the door and step aside for adults.”

The younger Davis was arrested early Saturday, just after midnight, CMU police said during a press conference Saturday. He was found after Central Michigan police received a tip from the employee of a train company in the area. Davis had been spotted standing near the tracks, which the employee found suspicious. The employee called police, who responded within two minutes. Davis was arrested without incident.

CMU campus operations to resume after slayings

Police said Davis used the gun registered to his father, a part-time police officer with the Bellwood Police Department in suburban Chicago, said CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley.

In his Facebook post on Saturday, Russell Davis said there are “three things I want you to know:

1. I LOVE my Mama/Ma/MaDea and my Dad!! I’m going to MISS THEM!!

2. I STILL LOVE MY BROTHER! I want him safe, supported and prayed for just like my sister Alexis Davis and I.

3. And... I still believe God!! I’m in pursuit of a doctorate... a doctorate in faith... and THIS is my examination!! I shall continue to “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me”... God got my back!”

Friends, family, strangers and people who said they were co-workers of Diva Davis at American Airlines responded to posts with hundreds of comments urging Davis and his sister to keep their faith.

“You have my condolences and prayers, your mom always had a smile on her face when she was in PHL INTL. she will be missed God Bless you on journey and best of luck to you with your studies,” said one commenter.

Russell Davis cautioned the news media and people critical of his brother.

“Please don’t make a villain of my brother... that is NOT who he is... and despite the circumstances, he also lost a mother and father... And I LOVE him. Consider that!”

On Sunday, posts from leaders of the Church of God in Christ appeared on Russell Davis’ page in memory of his parents.