HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - The first weekend of the summer tourist season was marred by deadly violence. Shots rang out near the Hampton Carnival on Coliseum Drive Saturday night. One teenager died and four other teens were injured after police said someone started shooting into a crowd.
16-year-old Ralphael Davis Jr. died at the hospital. WAVY.com spoke to Davis' family about the tragic shooting. Davis' aunt, Dawn Moses, said her nephew was leaving the carnival near the Hampton Coliseum when the shooting happened.
Hampton Police received several calls in reference to a shooting on Coliseum Drive around 11 p.m. Saturday. Investigators said there was an argument between two groups of people when someone pulled out a gun and started shooting.
A 14-year-old boy from Hampton was shot in the back and is now listed in critical condition. A 17-year-old boy from Newport News was shot in the leg and has since been released from the hospital. An 18-year-old male from Hampton was also shot in the leg and went home to recover. A 16-year-old Newport News girl was shot in the ankle and also went home.
Police said the shooting happened a few blocks from the Hampton Carnival in the 1900 block of Coliseum Drive. Davis' family members told WAVY.com they did not understand why the shootings happened at a place their kids were supposed to feel safe.
"This is kind of hard for us to come to grips with because he was young, and his life was cut short for senseless violence," said Davis' aunt, Dawn Moses. "I just feel sorry for the parents of that young man as well because when he is caught his life will be cut short as well. And the other children that were injured.... it was just senseless."
Davis' family said what haunts them now was not knowing what led to his death. The loss was compounded for Davis' family because they must prepare to bury him on the same weekend they buried his great grandmother three years ago. They said they were coping by remembering Davis' love of life and sports.
"He was just bright and cheerful," Davis said. "He loved basketball; he used to dance all the time when he was kid. He gave you no problems."
Even before the carnival was set up, 10 On Your Side found threatening posts on the WAVY Facebook page. The posts warned of someone threatening violence at the Hampton Carnival.
10 On Your Side told Hampton Police about the threats. Sgt. Jason Price said they found the person who made the threats, and that individual was not involved in Saturday's shooting. Price said the person was not arrested because the posts were not classified as actual threats.
Police prepared for the carnival by having 30 police officers at the event.
As Davis' family mourns his loss, they also have a few words for the person who pulled the trigger Saturday night.
"I wish someone would give him some guidance," Davis said. "They should still love him, but tell him to do the right thing and turn himself in."
Community activists have organized a candlelight vigil for Ralphael Davis. The vigil has been scheduled for Monday night at 7 p.m. The group is going to meet in the empty lot at the entrance to the Hampton Coliseum.
The carnival was supposed to run through June 2, but the City of Hampton cancelled the remaining events following the shooting.
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