Cortez Washington's Family Mourns

As friends and family openly mourn the death of Bryce Dion, a quiet mourning is taking place among the family of Cortez Washington.

Sister-in-law Tawanna Washington said, "He just left my house. He just left. We were just joking. We were just doing the normal."

Cortez moved to Omaha a year ago to follow in his big brother Will's footsteps. Will made positive changes to his life, becoming a musician at a church. He told Cortez he could do the same after years of trouble with the law.

Will Washington said, "My brother was a troubled kid - troubled kid. And when you're dealing with troubled kids you want to help them. You wish you could give them the world."

They say his last decision was a fatal one. In less than an hour after leaving Will's house Tuesday night, the family got a call that Cortez had been shot. They later learned it was after allegedly robbing a Wendy's at gunpoint.

The weapon turned out to be an Airsoft pellet gun but police say Cortez discharged the gun as if it were real.

The family has questions.

Will said, “To be a skilled veteran you should be able to be trained to know the difference between a BB gun, a air-soft gun and a real handgun."

Cortez later died at the Nebraska Medical Center and his family now lives with the reality that he never could overcome his troubles.

Tawanna said, “For his children to have to read that their father passed away in such a horrible way, I'm not by any means excusing the fact of what he did."

Police tell us Cortez Washington had a lengthy criminal history including another robbery arrest in Missouri. His parole was transferred to Nebraska last year.

His family says they plan to voice their concerns and are considering a lawsuit.

Washington is survived by a wife and several children.


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