NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man will serve an 18-year sentence in prison for fatally shooting another man in a 7-Eleven in July 2021.
Laurence Latif Clark, 22, of Norfolk, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Friday in Norfolk Circuit Court.
Clark was charged in connection with a fatal shooting July 16, 2021 outside the 7-Eleven at 7431 Tidewater Drive.
According to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Clark drove up to the store that night with his brother, then-19-year-old Quadir Kesean Brooks, and two passengers.
Outside, 38-year-old Norman Elijah James was speaking with another person.
Clark backed his SUV into a parking space, and the two back passengers got out of the car. Brooks started to speak to James from his place in the front passenger seat of the SUV. The conversation changed into an argument, leading Brooks to get out of the SUV with a gun.
The argument continued, and then Clark got out of the vehicle as well. He walked around the SUV and up to James, then shot him multiple times in the head with a .22 caliber handgun.
Clark and Brooks got back into the car and left the 7-Eleven.
The argument and murder were caught on video on 7-Eleven’s surveillance system. Police were able to identify and arrest Clark.
During questioning, Clark told police he shot James because he believed his brother was about to shoot him.
Clark pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder on March 21.
On Friday, Clark was given 30 years in prison for second-degree murder with 15 years suspended. He was sentenced to three years in prison for the use of a firearm in the commission of murder, which is the mandatory minimum sentence. His active prison sentence totals 18 years.
Upon release, Clark will have 15 years of required good behavior and indeterminate supervised probation.
“I extend my condolences to the family of Norman James, who died in this senseless act of gun violence,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Mr. Clark had no legitimate reason to kill Mr. James. Had Mr. Clark thought through his actions and chosen one of the countless other ways to resolve this disagreement, Mr. James would be alive, and both Mr. James and Mr. Clark would be home with their families. We have held Mr. Clark accountable, but doing so will not bring Mr. James back. We will continue to hold accountable the people who commit murder.”