TAMPA — The ringing phone that roused Helen Taylor from sleep Thursday night brought news she didn't want to believe.
Earlier that evening, Taylor's grandson Damon D. Larry Sr. had come by her house in Temple Terrace to visit. He was with his wife Kim, their two teen daughters and a granddaughter.
When they left, "I told them to be safe," Taylor recalled.
When the phone rang later, it was Kim.
Miss Helen, Miss Helen, Da'mon stabbed Damon, she said.
Soon after, Damon Larry Sr. was dead, slain by his 23-year-old son Da'Mon Timothy Larry, Tampa police say.
Officers responded to a home at 2608 18th Ave shortly before 9 p.m. after someone called to report a stabbing. They found Larry Sr., 43, with a number of stab wounds.
Witnesses told police Larry's son, Da'mon T. Larry, 23, attacked his father and what appeared to be a fist fight ensued. Witnesses said the elder Larry tried to retreat and fell to the ground and his son continued to strike the father.
Witnesses then saw stab wounds on the elder Larry and realized he'd been stabbed by his son, police spokesman Steve Hegarty said. The father died at a local hospital.
Da'Mon T. Larry was arrested and charged with second degree murder with a weapon. He was being held without bail Friday in the Hillsborough County jail.
Taylor said the stabbing happened at the home of Kim Larry's mother, where Da'Mon Larry had been staying. She said she didn't know for sure what provoked the alleged attack, but that father and son had a rocky relationship for years. She described her great-grandson as a smart but troubled man whose behavior problems got him kicked out of community college.
"His daddy tried to talk to him about it but he didn't want to listen," Taylor said.
Da'Mon Larry was arrested in 2014 on a domestic battery charge that was dropped, records show. Taylor said that arrest stemmed from an attack on his father.
Taylor, who raised Damon Larry in Tampa for much of his childhood, said he attended Leto High School and later got a GED. He recently got a job as a welder at the Port of Tampa and was working to get his barber's license. All told, he had eight children, Taylor said.
At the time of his death, he was living with his wife, two teen daughters, a stepdaughter and a grandchild in Ruskin.
"He had a beautiful personality," Taylor said. "He got along with anybody.
Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.