NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A Newport News community is grieving the death of an 18-year-old. Norfolk police say Jabarie Smith was shot and killed just before 5 a.m. last Saturday at the 3300 block of E. Princess Anne Road. A suspect is still on the loose.
On Friday, Smith’s friends and family honored the teen at Peninsula Family Skating Center in Newport News. Smith worked at the rink for four years.
“It broke my heart because that was my best friend, that’s my little dog, and it’s never going to be the same,” said rink manager EJ MacDonald.
MacDonald was in tears as he told us about the moment he received a phone call last weekend learning about his best friend’s death.
“He lived in here like we all did, and we’re a very tight family,” MacDonald said. “The man would give you the shirt off his back.”
Smith had just recently started a welding job at the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipyard and had dreams of enlisting in the Marines. When he wasn’t welding, he’d spend his time working at the rink and helping his mom, who is battling breast cancer, raise his younger sister and niece.
Peninsula Family Skating Center held a three-hour skate, with the proceeds going to Smith’s family. Many wore shirts and sweatshirts honoring the teen. They tell us he had an infectious smile, was eager to learn and loved to skate.
Smith’s family is heartbroken.
“He loved to make people laugh and smile. He loved family,” said Melissa McNeill, Smith’s aunt.
Smith’s family is holding a celebration of life on Saturday, May 13 at the Church of Jesus in Hampton.
They urge anyone with information about his death to call police.
“If you saw something, you heard something, please call and say it,” McNeil said. “His family wants answers. We need answers.”