‘I’m going to find out what happened’: Father seeks answers from police in son’s 2018 murder

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:51 AM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - For the past four years, Jamarr Hopkins has been coming to grips with his 22-year-old son’s Tahjmere Hopkins murder in Petersburg in May of 2018.

In the last couple of years, he says he’s regained the strength to fight for answers so that his son’s investigation doesn’t become a cold case.

“When he was murdered, it almost killed me literally. It took me almost two years to get back on my feet again,” Jamarr said. “You may crawl on your belly at first, and then you might put your hand on something, but when I finally got up, this became my purpose.”

On Monday, Jamarr joined the families of other missing children and loved ones lost to gun violence to raise awareness for his own son’s death.

“He was 22 years old when he was murdered. I was 22 years old when he was born. So he lived half of my life when he was murdered,” Jamarr said. “He was a brother. He was a nephew. He was a cousin. He was a good kid.”

In May 2018, Tahjmere Hopkins was found bound, stripped naked, and shot to death outside a home on St. Matthews Street in Petersburg, about two miles from where the 22-year-old lived.

Jamarr says what’s worse is the nature in which his son’s life was stolen. He believes that based on the gruesome nature of the action against his son, some people know his son’s whereabouts.

“I googled it! There hasn’t been a murder like this in the past 25 years in Petersburg. He was brutally murdered.” Jamarr said. “Nobody is getting tortured; nobody is getting shot six times. These things aren’t happening. This thing was not a normal occurrence in Petersburg.”

Before his son’s death, Jamarr says that Tahjmere had recently moved to Petersburg with his girlfriend to pursue a rap music career.

Jamarr describes his son as someone who wanted to do right by his then 2-year-old son, who had an infectious smile. The victim’s father says unless it involved his music, Tahjmere didn’t associate with many people in Petersburg and avoided the wrong crowds.

Since his son’s death, Jamarr says he wears a picture of Tahjmere around his neck closest to his heart to symbolize his vows never to stop getting answers for his son. Answers he believes lie in the police’s investigation.

“The police know. The police have known for at least two years,” Jamarr said. “Exactly what happened, why it happened and who was involved, but nobody’s been arrested.”

Jamarr says before the case went cold and then recently reopened, a detective initially on the case told him that his son was killed by accident but could not provide more details. Now he wants police to take a more active role in the investigation to ensure they are getting to the bottom of his son’s murder without letting the trail run cold.

“I want to do this the right way because I have a grandson, and I want him to grow up knowing that even though his father is dead, that his grandfather did something,” Jamarr said. “Number one, this was an innocent victim.”

Petersburg Police tells NBC12 that Hopkins’ case is still open and detectives are actively investigating, but they also admit they need help. In the meantime, Jamar is confident this investigation only ends one way.

“I’m going to find out what happened to my son, who was involved, and hold the people accountable,” Jamarr said.

Anyone with information at all is asked to call Petersburg Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.