City to name new playground after Derrick Lee Jr.

Press release from Vijay Kapoor: 

At 4pm today in front of Asheville City Hall (in the event of rain, ground floor), we will announce that the playground at the new Lee Walker Heights housing complex will be named after 12 year old Derrick Lee, Jr., who was shot and killed there early July 1, 2018.  Derrick’s grandparents, the Reverend Eddie Tolbert and Charlotte Tolbert, will be in attendance.  Derrick’s murder remains unsolved.

The following is additional background on the announcement.

  • Last year, after 12-year old Derrick Lee Jr was shot and killed at Lee Walker Heights, his grandparents the Reverend Eddie Tolbert and his wife Charlotte, came to an Asheville City Council meeting accompanied by Jack Logan of Put Down The Guns Now Young People and asked that something in the city be named in Derrick’s memory.
  • Derrick was shot and killed early July 1, 2018, at Lee Walker Heights.  His murder remains unsolved.
  • Thanks to the generosity of Monark Patel of the Milan Hotel Group, the playground at the new Lee Walker Heights will be named after Derrick.  Patel proposed paying for the playground equipment at the playground and contributing $500,000 to Asheville’s affordable housing trust fund as part of his company’s plan to build an Extended Stay Hotel on Biltmore Avenue.  The Asheville Housing Authority spoke with residents who agreed with the naming.
  • The Asheville Housing Authority is in the process of renovating Lee Walker Heights, which was Asheville’s oldest public housing property, into a mixed-income community.  The property is now vacant.  Demolition is expected to begin later this year.
  • There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with Derrick’s murder.  Anyone with information regarding Derrick’s murder is encouraged to contact the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1000, or Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050, where those reporting information can choose to remain anonymous.
About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.