NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -  On July 4th, five days after receiving his COVID-19 diagnosis, Darius Settles was dead. Just last month, he turned 30.

“Every day I play back in my head, what happened? I can’t believe it. My heart is broken. My heart is broken. And every day I’m not sure how I’ll get past it,” said Pastor David Settles, David’s father.

News4 Investigates confirmed Settles is the youngest person to die so far in the city from COVID-19.

Darius' family said he was the picture of health with no known underlying health conditions.

When his sister, Deja Settles, learned her brother was diagnosed with the virus, she told News4 Investigates she assumed he would bounce back quickly.

“I wasn’t prepared for this. It wasn’t a possibility in my mind. I thought, he’s going to be fine,” Deja Settles said.

A husband and father of a young son, Settles’ Facebook page and Instagram account showed the custom suits he’d designed and hoped to make into a thriving career.

Instead, David Settles and his grandson spent Tuesday picking out suits for his son’s funeral.

“He was scared. He told my wife he was scared. He asked – please mama – pray for me,” David Settles said.

David Settles said after his diagnosis, his son quarantined and hoped to recover at home.

On Friday, Settles said his son called him.

“He said Dad, I need you to pray for me. His breath was very shallow. I said, I always pray for you. And he said no, I need you to get the oil and come pray for me,” David Settles said.

After getting the anointed oil from his church, Settles arrived and found his son with heavy congestion in his lungs.

On July 4th, after stopping to breath at home, Darius Settles was rushed to the hospital where he died.

David Settles said before his son’s death, he confided that he had no idea how he’d contracted the virus.

”I keep hearing people say I don’t need a mask, I don’t need a mask. But you don’t know who you’re affecting,” David Settles said. “Somebody passed it to my son. Somebody gave it to my son. And he could have been alive today if someone had just worn their mask.”

The Settles family set up a Go Fund Me page to help with funeral expenses.

Their aim was $10,000.

By Tuesday evening, the amount had surpassed $14,000. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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