HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Hampton's city leaders will hold a public meeting to discuss safety at public events and the issue of youth violence. This comes after a 16-year-old was shot and killed near the carnival last weekend.
The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Y.H. Thomas Youth Center, located at 1300 Thomas St. in Hampton. Hampton residents are encouraged to participate -- the first hour will be devoted to public comment.
Police charged a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old for the murder of 16-year-old Ralphael Davis, Jr.. Davis died Saturday night. He was shot and killed on his way home from the Coliseum Carnival.
Hampton's city manager, police chief and director of the Coliseum decided to shut down the carnival after the shooting. It was scheduled to be open until June 2.
Late Monday night, Davis' family learned police charged two teens with his murder. They say the arrests do not bring closure because the violence continues on the streets.
"They're not adults. They're teenagers," said Dawn Moses, Davis' aunt. "They're kids out here doing these shootings and it's just vicious, and it does need to stop."
City officials shut down the carnival to show respect for Davis' family - and to reevaluate the atmosphere the carnival creates. But with many of the rides still standing, some wonder if it might reopen now that the suspects are in jail. Hampton councilman Will Moffett says no.
"I think it should be closed down until such time we can guarantee citizens and those who participate that they will be safe," said Moffet.
Moffett would not comment on whether more police officers were needed. There were 30 assigned to the carnival the night of the shooting. Davis' family says police can only do so much, because the problem starts at home.
"Parents hold dear to your children, hold them close to your hearts, because as soon as they're out there the streets will raise them," said Moses. "That's what happens when your child gets away from you."
And as the family waits for answers, a community is left wondering what will become of this Memorial Day tradition. Will the carnival be back next year?
"That will be a consideration the city manager will make at a future date and time," said Moffet.
The family of Ralphael Davis Jr. set up a memorial fund in his name at Langley Federal Credit Union. To donate, give account number 464662.
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