Family wants justice after loved one dies in DART attack

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 24 at 12:15 AM

Dragging DART death location

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DALLAS - Octavius Lanier looked forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family, but now they are planning his funeral.

"The only thing you can do is cry for some sort of relief, but I want the people to pay for what they did to him," said Lanier's aunt, Sheree Harper.

Lanier was attacked at the MLK DART train station near Fair Park by four or five kids Tuesday evening. Police believe the suspects are between 12 and 14 years old. Investigators said Lanier was pushed into the train and dragged 30 feet in a robbery attempt.

The teen severed a major artery in his leg and later died.

"45 minutes after he walked out that door, [the police] called me and told me to come to Baylor [hospital,]" said Lanier's stepfather, Vernon Keys. "That something was wrong."

Relatives told News 8, Lanier, a diabetic, was on his way to a doctor's appointment. He used DART transportation, from buses to trains, nearly every day.

Police have identified some of the suspects, but their names are not being released, as they are minors. So far, at least two have been arrested.

"He didn't deserve this. He did not deserve this," Harper said. "It's unfair. It's unjust."

Lanier went to the Can! Academy in Oak Cliff. He also worked for a mechanic, but his biggest passion was cooking. He was planning to do just that with his family on Thanksgiving - a holiday that will always be a reminder of their pain and loss.

"It's just not going to be the same," Harper said. "It's not going to be the same."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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