‘This has to stop’: Vigil held for 17-year-old found dead in Portsmouth

Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It was an emotional evening as people came together to remember 17-year-old Portsmouth mother Nye’Tazia Hicks.

Family members of Nye’Tazia Hicks believe she was shot at Charlestowne Condos, then dumped at the cemetery off High Street – which is where police found her Saturday night.

Hicks’ mom, Victoria Hicks, said in an interview Wednesday that her daughter had a smile that would brighten up the world. That smile is what she will miss the most.

“How could someone be so heartless? To do a child like that, knowing she had a baby,” she said. “It was just very heartless and I just pray for justice.”

Hicks said she was very lovable and a great mom to her 6-month-old son.

“It’s devastating because I’m going to have to be the one to sit down and explain to him what happened to his mother,” Hicks said.

Police are still calling this a suspicious death investigation. They have several people of interest, but no one in custody.

Police were back out at Charlestowne Condos for a RESET walk Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a horrible situation that anybody would do that to another human being, so we come out here to assure the residents we feel that with them, we sympathize with them, we have empathy in the situation, in hopes that we may be able to garner some information that can help us get closure for the family that had to go through this traumatic event,” said Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene.

With Nye’Tazia on their minds and pain in their hearts, the crowd of people walked to take back their community.

“This has to stop,” said Kintrell Devin, a spokesperson for the family. 

Hundreds of people filled the pews to remember the teen who was shot over the weekend. The shooting has left many here feeling broken.

“This was a beautiful young sister with so much ahead of her. Who knows what she could’ve contributed to society,” said James Boyd, president of the Portsmouth NAACP.

“When our daughters are starting to be killed and left, the compassion is leaving the city,” Devin said. 

Speakers called not only for prayer, but for an end to violence

“We have all become part of a culture that allows our children to die too young,” said Dr. Mark Whitaker, with New Bethel Baptist Church. 

They also demanded change, saying the community needs to take action, starting at home. 

“We can’t blame anyone else people. We have to do something. We have to be able to say enough is enough, I love you but I’m gonna report your son,” Devin said. 

Many people at the service even pledged to live a life of faith to honor their friend taken too soon. Although Nye’Tazia is gone, the community vowed to her death won’t be in vain. 

“The only way we can do that is all of us stand up today and say listen, no it’s not gonna be my daughter, it’s not going to be my son,” Boyd said. “It can only happen right here with us.”

Police have not named a suspect in this case. If you have information that could help police, call the Crime Line at 1-888 LOCK U UP.  

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