CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Family and friends of Deonta Cartwright held a vigil for him Monday night in South Norfolk.
Cartwright died after he was shot at a party in the 900 block of Butts Street early Saturday. His sister, who was also at the party, says the teen died trying to close a door to shield friends from the bullets.
There were a lot of tears and heavy hearts at Berkley Park Monday night. That's where Cartwright lived, and where he touched the hearts of so many.
"He was only 18," said Latoya Gibbs, Cartwright's sister. "He didn't get a chance to begin his life."
Hundreds gathered on the basketball court to say goodbye. Deonta's family wants to thank the community for the support, but had trouble getting the words out without tears.
"I ain't going to get my baby back," she said. Instead, Gibbs spoke on behalf of the family.
"When I want to go see my brother, I have to look on a 'Rest In Peace' shirt," said Gibbs.
Cartwright participated in Project C.L.E.A.N., which stands for 'Citizens Learning and Educating about Neighborhoods.' Director Anthony Daniels remembers the teen's willingness to help.
"He did a lot of volunteer service with the seniors in the community," said Daniels. "He also did volunteer work to clean the community. He was around helping us pick up paper and he had a positive attitude with people in the community."
Daniels organized the vigil in hopes other youth will get the message to stop the cycle of violence.
"Everyone out here, if you're doing the wrong thing, straighten up!" said Deonta's uncle, speaking to the crowd of teenagers.
The family says they want those responsible to feel their pain.
"You might as well just come forth because we know who you are," said Gibbs.
Police are still searching for suspects in this case. If you know anything, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Cartwright will be laid to rest Saturday.
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