DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
April 1, 1984 Marvin Gaye dies in his parents Los Angeles home. Marvin attacked his father for verbally abusing his mother. His father responded by shooting his son to death. Since his death, the power and reach of Marvin’s music has increased.
Marvin gave his father a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, for Christmas 1983. On the night of March 31, 1984, Marvin, Sr. was angered because he was unable to find a document concerning an insurance policy. He stormed around the house and yelled at Marvin's mother Alberta, whom he blamed for losing the document. He was still angry when he awoke the next morning, Sunday, April 1, the day before Marvin, Jr.'s 45th birthday.
At about 11 a.m., Marvin, Sr. hollered up the stairs at his wife, who was in Marvin, Jr.'s bedroom. The son went to the top of the stairs and hollered back that he should not speak to his mother in that manner. The father hurried up the steps and entered his son's room. Marvin, Jr. leaped up off the bed and pushed his 70-year-old father out into the hallway. Alberta interceded and the men separated. Marvin, Jr. returned to his bed. The father got up and went down the hall to his own bedroom. After a few moments, he returned to Marvin, Jr.'s threshold. He raised a hand toward his son, and Alberta could see he was holding the .38 pistol Marvin, Jr. had given him. He pulled the trigger, and shot his son in the chest, tearing through his heart. As Marvin, Jr. slumped off the bed to the floor, his father strode forward and fired again. The second shot was unnecessary. Marvin's brother, Frankie, ran to the sound of shots. His wife, Irene, called 911. Paramedics arrived to find Marvin Sr. sitting on the front porch. They demanded to see the gun before they would enter the house. Irene found it under Marvin, Sr.'s pillow and threw it on the lawn. Gaye was rushed to California Hospital. Resuscitation efforts were in vain. He was declared dead at 1:01 p.m. on April 1, 1984.