September 13, 2004 by

Derek Ali


Categories: Education, Media, Writers/Editors

dali.jpgDerek Ali, a veteran reporter for the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News and a part-time disc jockey, was murdered on Sept. 5. He was 47.
After DJ’ing for a private party at the Lakeridge Community Center, Ali unplugged his equipment and began to pack it into his car. At the same time, a group of teens who had been denied entry to the event became unruly. In anger, one opened fire on the building.
Ali heard the shooting and pushed a female bystander out of harm’s way. He was shot in the chest, however, and died at the scene. On Friday, a 16-year-old boy was charged with Ali’s murder.
The Philadelphia native graduated from Glassboro State College in New Jersey. He moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1984 after landing a job as an Action Line Reporter with the Dayton Daily News. Ali later worked as a regional reporter and as an adjunct adviser to the Tiger Times, a student newspaper at the Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton.
A past president of the Dayton Association of Black Journalists, Ali was named a YMCA Black Achiever in 1999. At the time of his death, he was planning a trip for area youths to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
Complete Coverage From the Dayton Daily News
[Update – Aug. 27, 2005: A judge denied a 17-year-old boy’s last-minute bid to withdraw a guilty plea and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Dayton Daily News reporter Derek Ali. Elijah Griffin, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was among a group of youths turned away from a party at the Lakeridge Community Center, where Ali was moonlighting as a DJ. Griffin later returned with a gun and started shooting. The teen had previously pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter with a firearm and single counts of having a weapon under restriction from a previous juvenile case and shooting into a habitation, both charges also with firearm specifications.]

4 Responses to Derek Ali

  1. Loren

    Although I haven’t seen Derek since high school, I instantly picture him smiling. Derek had an incredible smile. It was bright, warm and friendly, just one of his many attributes.

  2. aj Garnes

    I just heard the news today. I will always remember “D” as the cool slick guy who loved life and always liked to party.

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