NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Five-month-old Nevaeh is the apple of her Grandpa’s eye, keeping him connected to the son he lost one year ago to a shooting in Norfolk.

“She a spittin’ image — she’s a spittin’ image and I’m blessed, we’re all blessed to have her that’s for sure,” said Aaron Leach Sr.

Nevaeh’s dad, Aaron Leach Jr. — known as ‘AJ’ — was killed on Creamer Road in the Bayview area of Norfolk Sept. 18, 2022.

He was shot while in the driver’s seat of a car and crashed it while trying to get away. He never met the daughter he just learned would be born.

“And to see him as happy as he was when he died, its sad, it breaks my heart,” Leach said.

Emilio Rodrigez-Lopez is charged with Leach’s murder. Police said he was also shot that day.
Leach’s family says video shows there was a third person at the scene with Leach and Rodriguez-Lopez, and that person had a gun.

Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney Ramin Fatehi was on the scene that day. 10 On Your Side reached out to his office to about another possible shooter. A spokesperson, however, said they could not comment on the open case.

“It’s very sad, the way these kids are out here killin’ each other and not only ruining our life, but there’s as well,” Leach said.

Aaron Leach Sr. will be in court for the trial in October. Monday night, on the anniversary of his son’s death, he returned to the scene of the crime for the first time, overcome with emotion and reflecting on what he might have done differently.

“Been more nosier maybe you know,” Leach Sr. said, “intervene in their business more times, I didn’t do that, you know, especially with the internet and all that.”

Leach Sr. told 10 On Your Side’s Michelle Wolf his son was his best friend.

“He was a loving guy,” Leach Sr. said. “He was loyal to his friends, he was loyal to his family. His smile, his smile just lit the room.”

Get involved. Leach said, teach your kids that guns don’t solve problems and never take one day for granted.

“I can tell you one thing you can do,” Leach Sr. said. “Hug your kids. Don’t think it can’t happen to you because this is the last thing I through my family would have to go through.”

The vigil was held in the 1000 block of Creamer Road in Norfolk. The trial of Emilio Rodriguez-Lopez is set to begin Oct. 11.