NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been just over 24 hours since two young people were gunned down on the Peninsula.
15-year-old Erek Wright died at the Heritage Forest apartments in Newport News last night.
His 18-year-old cousin Tyree Spady was taken to the hospital, where he died.
On Friday, people mourned the teens at a memorial at Heritage High School.
The tone of the memorial was somber, but there were also more calls for people to take a stand against crime before it’s too late.
“He’s an 18 year-old-young man. You know he’s just started his life,” Terrence Banks said.
Through tears, people held each other and consoled one another. The crowd lit candles and prayed for the heartbroken mothers of Tyree Spady and Erek Wright.
“I was hurt actually when I got the phone call,” Banks said. “It’s a horrible situation.”
Banks knew both of the teens, but he was Spady’s former football coach.
“He just loved the game. He loved the sport. He was just a good kid all the way around,” Banks said.
He said Spady was a lineman on the field but he was more than just one of his players.
“It was important for me to be here because he was almost like my son. I’ve been around his family before he was even born,” Banks said.
Although the event was somber, many in the crowd say they’re angry because young lives in the community keep getting cut short.
“It takes a village to raise kids and they need all the help they can get, especially when you look at situations to this magnitude. These kids are just dying at 18 and 15. It’s just ridiculous.”
As they released balloons in the sky, the crowd was encouraged to speak up to police and to put an end to violence in the community for good.
“It’s just getting to be too much,” Banks said. “There’s people out there that care about y’all.”
Police have not arrested anyone in connection to the double homicide.
If you have information, contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.