Families of those killed speak out, remember loved ones lost in Young Terrace mass shooting

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There was a candlelight vigil for the victims in the Young Terrace shooting on Friday night. Three women died and two others were injured. About 70 people turned out to remember the three that were killed.  

Before the start of the vigil Tina McPherson, the sister of Nicole Lovewine, who was killed in the Wednesday attack, talked to 10 On Your Side.

“She was an angel, and she did anything for anybody. She did not deserve to go out like this. He took our angel. He destroyed our family. She was my only sister. My baby sister. I don’t want to say anything harsh like rot in hell, but you took a good one from us. You really hurt our family,” McPherson said.  

McPherson was referring to 19-year-old Ziontay Palmer, who has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder, malicious wounding, and four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is scheduled for a competency motion hearing on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in courtroom 2C at the Norfolk Courthouse.

According to police, the shooting happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of Whitaker Lane. A preliminary investigation revealed that Palmer shot a 19-year-old woman, who he had been in a relationship with, first. He then allegedly shot the four other women — including the 19-year-old’s mother, mother’s friend and neighbor — as they tried to help her, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said.

44-year-old Sara Costine, the neighbor, died trying to help others. Costine was set to sign transfer papers on Friday to move out of her apartment because she thought the area was too dangerous.  

BELOW: Young Terrace community holds vigil for those killed in mass shooting.

“She was a very giving person. If she could go without so someone could do better, she would do that in a heartbeat,” Costine’s sister, Spring Wilcox, told 10 On Your Side. 

Wilcox remembers that little sister when she was just 7 years old.

“She was a very confident person in her religious beliefs, and in herself, and she always accepted people for who they were,” Wilcox said. 

Wilcox gave us a picture of Sara with her six children and grandchildren, and remembers that call from Costine’s daughter about what happened.

“I went into shock. I had a breakdown. I mentally couldn’t comprehend she was gone,” Wilcox said.  “It has destroyed my family.” 

We asked Wilcox if she had a message for Palmer.

“I will hate him forever.  There is no forgiveness from me. I’ve been told as a Christian I should forgive, but I can’t, and I never will.” 

Wilcox just wants her sister back.

“I just don’t understand why she’s gone, and she will live forever in my heart, and her children and they will live on in her name,” she said. 

Wilcox also wants to remind everyone that her sister who could have stayed in the safety of her apartment chose instead to reach out to help others.

“She heard someone who needed help. She went out to give help and he killed her because she was helping. She was giving help to people she didn’t know,” she said.

A GoFundMe page has also been started to benefit Costine’s family. Click here to view the fundraiser.

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