PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Hundreds gathered at Churchland High School Wednesday evening to honor a Portsmouth native and VSU student who drowned following a hazing incident last weekend.
Marvell Edmondson, Jr and Jauwan Holmes, both 19, were last seen Saturday around 1:30 a.m. in the Appomattox River. Both men were freshmen at Virginia State University and pledging the "Men of Honor" organization, trying to cross the river in a human chain.
Edmondson's body was pulled from water Monday and identified the next day. Another body was pulled Wednesday, but has yet to be identified.
Coaches and community members led the group in a prayer for by candlelight asking for strength, understanding and peace during this difficult time.
They also talked about making good decisions in the their young lives which is something Edmondson's father told WAVY.com he taught his son.
"I raised him right," Marvell Edmondson, Sr. said. "I spent a lot of time with him, although I had my time in the Navy. My child shouldn't have left this Earth the way he did. At 19, the sky was the limit for him. But, he's in a better place now. All I can say is, keep holding your kids. Always stay in contact because you as a parent never want to go through this."
A formal memorial service is scheduled to take place at Churchland High School on Friday from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.
Edmondson's funeral will be Saturday at St. Mark's Missionary Baptist Church in Portsmouth beginning at 1:30 p.m.
A man is facing attempted abduction charges after police said he tried to grab two juvenile girls and exposed himself.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 2,000 EMTs and paramedics who were abruptly laid off over the weekend.
The Portsmouth City Council has set a public hearing for Tuesday, Dec. 17, to talk about a plan to bring a casino to the city.