PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Poise, personality, mad skills on the football field, and good grades: Dominque Brooks was on top of the world in 2019 when he was named offensive player of the year at Indian River High School.
The year before, he led the Indian River High football team in a historic upset over Oscar Smith. The SportsWrap’s Nathan Epstein interviewed a humble Brooks after the win.
“Coach told us from the jump that this probably was the best team he ever coached,” said Brooks on the field.
Brooks played football briefly for the Norfolk State University Spartans and was a sophomore in the Business Department. He aspired to own a trucking company with his mother.
“He meant so much to everybody. He touched everybody that he met. He had so much charisma, his personality, his spirit, his soul, everything,” said his mother, Lakisha Brooks.
The young man who meant everything to his mother, big brother Deveon and twin brother Dontae is gone. The twins were trying to connect Friday night.
“They were just gonna go to party and hang out as brothers do,” said Deveon.
Family members say Dominique, who lived with his mother in Portsmouth, was attending a party at off-campus apartment building in the 1000 block of 39th Street. He was in his car, which was in the rooftop parking area, when someone opened fire are 8:45 p.m. Friday night.
“He was a sweet, sweet boy; nobody could say anything bad about him,” said his mother.
Loved ones say they can’t think of a single reason why someone would kill Dominque. So they went to the spot where he died to look for answers. His mother recorded what they saw.
“8:30 Saturday p.m., I guess [the police] left a bullet fragment [shell casing] on the ground,” she said in the video.
In an interview, she elaborated on the discovery.
“My concern with this investigation is I don’t believe the Norfolk Police Department is doing a thorough investigation,” said Lakisha Brooks.
Lakisha Brooks also told 10 On Your Side she contacted police and a forensics technician returned to the scene to collect the shell casing. She said she believes the casing was under her son’s parked car.
The family zoomed in on the shell casing to read “40 Smith and Wesson Winchester.”
“We found shell casing that [was] left by where my son’s blood… Where he had passed away… We don’t have the faith in the detectives in the Norfolk Police Department,” she said.
10 On Your Side reached out to the Norfolk Police Department on Monday. A public information officer acknowledged he read a request for a comment but no comment was provided as of 6:30 p.m. on Monday night.
Additionally, Norfolk police had not released any suspect information as of Monday night. Family members believe there is surveillance video, and witnesses who should come forward with information on the killer. Funeral arrangements are pending.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Brooks on October 7 at Indian River’s football field.
Correction: The original version of this story misstated the location of the party Dominque Brooks attended on the night of his death. The party took place inside the apartment building. WAVY regrets the error.