NN man killed by suspect he witnessed tampering with his vehicle

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A 48-year-old man is dead after an early morning shooting on 24th Street in Newport News.

Police were notified for the shooting at 3:54 a.m. in the 1400 block of 24th Street and found the victim, later identified as Calbert Thomas, suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. He died shortly after at the scene.

Police say they were initially called to the area for a report of vehicle tampering. While on route to the scene, officers were informed that shots were fired.

The investigation has revealed the victim saw someone messing with his vehicle and went outside to confront the suspect, who shot him.

The home was empty with a lone porch light on Wednesday evening. Blood was at the threshold of the home, and the glass storm door was off the hinges and laying on the ground. 

He and his wife are known as quiet. They keep to themselves and they are very polite. 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox spoke with his wife, who was devastated beyond words following the tragedy.

10 On Your Side also spoke to neighbors.

“He got shot because again like he went outside and seen probably caught the people in the act of doing it,” neighbor Ernest Gibbs said. “You know he didn’t have any self-defense. You with me. So the other person running so they don’t get caught and they just started shooting and hitting him.”

Neighbor Kyle Mockbee’s girlfriend’s car got hit. “My girlfriend saw there was a bullet hole in her window,” he said. “We had heard a loud bang, and it woke us up and that was it… We came out and saw all the police.”

Police dusted for prints, looking for stray bullets with a metal detector Wednesday when 10 On Your Side was on-scene.

There were also dozens of police officers, including the chief, walking the neighborhood. Chief Steve Drew calls it the “care walk” to spread the word “don’t be afraid,” even if it might be hard not to be.

“I need to look people in the eyes and check on their families and their kids and [remind] them this is a good neighborhood … That this is something that can disrupt things in a community,” Drew said as officers gathered around him in the neighborhood.

The chief and neighbors say this is a quiet neighborhood. But on Oct. 25, in the next block up, a woman was killed during a home invasion.

The chief says the two incidents are not related. The search continues for suspects in both cases.

Last month, 47-year-old Janene Kellam was shot on the same street. Kellam also died at the scene.

Antonio Miranda lives just a few feet away from the scene. He said waking up to gunshots is becoming too common for this older community.

“You always hear shooting up and down here. All over this place, you always hear shooting,” he said. “It’s just sad. It doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better.”

There is no one in custody for the shooting Wednesday. If you can help police in any way, call the anonymous Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

The investigation is ongoing. Stay tuned to WAVY.com for updates.

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