CHESTER, VA (WWBT) – "We need to put an end to the violence"-- that's the message from a community coming together Monday night to mourn a 13-year-old boy. Hundreds attended a vigil for Devin Hawkins, who was killed by a stray bullet Saturday night.
The impact Hawkins was able to make in his short 13 years was clear from the huge outpouring of the community. What is difficult for them to understand, though, is the brutal and random way Devin was killed. How do you make sense of something that could have happened to anyone?
The faces of the children on Broadwater Road should be smiling. Their laughter should fill the air. Instead, all you could hear Monday night were sniffles and heart wrenching sobs. Bullets stole these kids' innocence when they took the life of their friend.
Devin Hawkins was around the corner from his home when he was struck by bullet meant for someone else. Chesterfield Police are now looking for 21-year-old William Walker and Jermon Jones.
Devin's father turned the vigil from a memorial to a teaching opportunity.
"There's only two roads in that 'G-code': the penitentiary and death," said Octavius Hawkins. "I don't know if all you all understand but I hope this wakes you up."
His grandfather, Donald Hawkins, hopes this is the last wake up call the community will need.
"I gotta talk to the men," he said. "Take care of your sons. Take care of your sons. That's my grandson. It should stop right here. We've been saying stop. We've been saying stop. Let's put some action to the words now."
Devin's mom looked on from her townhouse window too distraught to come out knowing her son will not get the chance to live his dreams of playing football. His young friends will now have to take on his legacy.
"I will try hard for him because I know he wanted to succeed and I know he wanted other people to succeed," said 14-year-old Kayvon Hill.
We're told the intended target was a 17 year old. He is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg. Police have not released a motive for the shooting yet. The shooting suspect and his alleged accomplice are still on the loose.