Man fatally shot at gas station in Newport News was former NSU student

Newport News

Luis Eduardo Zambrana Jr.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man who was gunned down at a gas station in Newport News earlier this week was a former student at Norfolk State University.

The university said in a news release Thursday 20-year-old Luis Zambrana was a theater major and a member of the NSU Theatre Company when he was enrolled.

NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston said in statement, “The Spartan community has experienced a tremendous loss. Our prayers are with the family of Luis Zambrana during this very difficult time.”

Zambrana won a 2019 NSU Theatre Company Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in “Once on This Island,” according to the release.

Professor Anthony Stockard, who directs the company, said, “Everyone knew that if he was going to be in a show, he was going to give it his all. He always pushed himself, even if he was nervous before a performance.”

The release said Zambrana had to resume his studies in the spring.

Newport News police said Zambrana was killed in a shooting at an Exxon gas station in the 13300 block of Jefferson Avenue Monday morning.

A criminal complaint filed on Monday states a suspect approached the victim from behind and shot him twice at point-blank range before fleeing the scene.

The suspect was later identified as 21-year-old Elijah Dayron Armstrong. He is charged with first-degree murder in connection with this shooting and another one that happened a short time later in Hampton.

Armstrong was scheduled to appear in court on his Hampton charges in the Hampton General District Court Thursday morning. A preliminary hearing for Armstrong in the Newport News General District Court is scheduled for Sept. 24.

NSU said counseling center staff is available for students, faculty and staff affected by the deadly shooting. The center is located inside the Student Services Center, Suite 312.

Appointments can be made by calling 757-823-8173.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported Zambrana a student at Norfolk State University at the time of the shooting.

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