Shooting victim's mother calls for gunman to surrender

Tyrail Hughes
Tyrail Hughes

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The mother of the man who was killed in a shooting near VSU is making a tearful plea tonight urging her son's killer to come forward.

Chesterfield police said 20-year-old Tyrail Hughes died after a heated fight between two groups erupted into gunfire.

A stray bullet hit a VSU student walking back to campus.

Police are investigating the possibility of this being a gang-related incident.

Hughes' mom said her son had a troubled childhood but turned his life around, especially as a new father.

She's calling for the shooter to surrender.

Pamela Hughes doesn't know why her son is dead.

She's planning his funeral, hoping answers will come sooner than later.

"We're all still taking it kind of hard," said Hughes.

Her voice trembled and eyes teared up as she talked about a young father of a one-year-old boy who she said cleaned up his act.

"When Tyrail was younger, he was... but he gave all that up," said Hughes.

VSU has beefed up patrols one day after a campus surveillance camera captured the gunshot that took Hughes' life near an off-campus credit union.

Police haven't yet released the dramatic footage.

Police say one group walked up to a second group sitting on a curb. There were heated words, a fight, then someone from the group on the curb pulled a gun. Two people were shot.

"There seems to be some reason for them to have gone and talked to each other," said Chesterfield Police Captain David Pritchard.

But Capt. Pritchard said the young men who were with Hughes aren't cooperating.

Police are still looking for the shooter and three others for their side of the story.

"We would strongly suggest it's in their best interest to come forward to us," said Capt. Pritchard.

A stray bullet hit a VSU student in the foot. He survived.

Hughes took a shot to the stomach.

His mom said her son's friend heard the gun blast.

"He was in the car he ducked when he looked up Tyrail was slumped over," said Hughes.

She said that friend got into a wreck in Petersburg trying to get her son to the hospital.

Hughes said she never saw her son angry — rather, just the opposite.

"Every time you see him he would make you laugh he didn't care who you were he could make you laugh," said Hughes.

Police said they do have several really good leads in tracking down the young men involved.

VSU is shedding light on its reaction to the shooting.

The university said its response was appropriate based on the facts at the time.

It happened at 4:20 P.M. Tuesday.

At 4:40, the university sent out email and text alerts to students.

By 4:50, VSU was updating its Facebook and Twitter pages.

Then at 5 P.M., a second wave of emergency alerts went out.

There was never a campus lockdown.

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