Family remembers murdered Richmond man Lawrence Sykes

By: Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A memorial stands in the spot where 23-year-old Lawrence Sykes was murdered Thursday afternoon.

While speaking with his family Saturday, they'd like to thank the supportive community and Richmond police for such quick arrests.

One of the last photos of Lawrence Sykes will forever be precious to his parents who are paralyzed by grief.

"Very empty," said mother Dannette Sykes. "I'm still trying to cope with it."

Family remember the 23-year old, nicknamed "Slim" for his build, as a good kid who graduated high school.

"Lawrence was loved," said cousin Claudette Warfield.  "Lawrence has a family that cares about him. He was a great person. A smart young man, an intelligent young man."

Family members think two days ago he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He just went to see some of his high school friends," said Dannette Sykes.

Just after 5:00 p.m. Thursday Lawrence was killed-- shot several times on Chamberlayne Avenue. Police haven't released a motive.  Rashaan Williams and Lamar Defaira are now charged with the crime.

Do you know the two men that are in custody? "No," said Sykes.  "I've never seen them before."

The family credits good police work and tips from the community for the quick arrests.

"Without everybody I really don't know what I would do," said Sykes.

Lawrence leaves behind a fiance and two young children. His two sisters and little brother Jayvon are also mourning.

"He used to give us money if we'd get our grades up," remembers Jayvon Roberson.

The 10-year old plans to excel in school as a tribute to his brother. He also dreams of becoming a police officer to protect others from the pain he now endures.

"I just want to see justice served because I think it was wrong and a senseless act," said Sykes.

The family will make funeral arrangements Monday and is planning a vigil.

Meantime, a vigil for Lawrence Sykes is Sunday at 6 PM at George Wythe High School in Richmond- the 23-year old's alma mater.

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