Mother grieves after son shot dead, 3 others injured, on Seaboard Avenue in Chesapeake


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — “It’s horrible because my son is never coming back.” Such was the grief of Anna Caldarera Friday morning, after watching her son John die in her arms. 

She says he went to check out an argument between one of his friends and a man, a boy and a girl, all about who owned a bicycle.

It began in the 1200 block of Seaboard Avenue Thursday evening, but ended up moving around the corner into an alley hard against the Amtrak line that bisects South Norfolk.

Caldarera says her son’s friend had found a bicycle in the neighborhood a few weeks ago that was in need of repair. He gave it to a child in the area who fixed the bike and began riding it, but then another child recognized the bike and said it was his own.

Caldarera says the initial argument Thursday night got violent in front of her home.

“The next thing you know, the guy took out his gun and shot like three times in the air, and I told him ‘You’re going to jail for that,'” she said.

And then the argument moved into the alley, where John went to investigate.

“Here comes my son running around the corner too, and I’m so shocked, I just stood there and I didn’t do anything.”

Caldarera, fighting back tears as she sat Friday on her front porch, described hearing more shots and what happened next.

“I go around the corner and my son is laying on the ground and he has a bullet wound in his chest, and he has his shirt over it, and I’m holding on to him. And I said ‘John, keep going, please don’t die, John please don’t go.’” 

John died in his mother’s arms. He had attended Booker T. Washington High School, and his mother said he had Asperger’s and dyslexia.

“He loved to play with his nieces and nephews, he loved to fix things, that was his favorite thing to do. Every time I needed John, he was there for me,” she said.

Caldarera says she saw a man being led away Thursday night in handcuffs, but Chesapeake police have not announced any arrest.

“This man is gonna go to jail and still live his life, and his people can visit. I will never see my son again. Never.”

The other three were taken to local hospitals with injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

Police did not release the ages of the juveniles who were shot.

10 On Your Side heard from several Amtrak passengers late Thursday night who reported they were stopped not far from the Norfolk station for several hours. Chesapeake Police confirmed Friday morning that the tracks were put on hold during the shooting investigation.

The incident remains under investigation.

Those with information should call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip using the P3 Tips app on their Apple or Android device or at

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