Sister of man killed by police: 'They didn't have to kill him'

Family members say there was nothing out of the ordinary about Marcus-David Peters. (Source:...
Family members say there was nothing out of the ordinary about Marcus-David Peters. (Source: NBC12)
Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 2:49 PM EDT
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Marcus-David Peters was shot and killed by police. (Source: Anthony Jones)
Marcus-David Peters was shot and killed by police. (Source: Anthony Jones)

MIDDLESEX, VA (WWBT) - The sister and cousins of the man killed by police on I-95 on Monday spoke about their loved one, Marcus-David Peters, who they referred to as "poppy" on Thursday.

Princess Blanding is Peters' older sister. She said Peters was the one of 12 siblings; Peters was the youngest boy.

Blanding is a school administrator at Essex High School, where Peters was a biology teacher.

According to Blanding there was nothing out of the ordinary that would lead her to believe that her brother would end up in this situation. He taught that day at school and was there until around 4 p.m.

She says she went to look for him at the end of the school day; Peters was supposed to file a report, but she couldn't find him.

Blanding said she eventually got a text message from Peters' girlfriend who he lives with and who she is extremely close to. The text said Peters stopped at home and was headed to a meeting at his second job, The Jefferson in Richmond. He worked security there part-time since becoming a biology teacher.

Friends: Peters was 'one the most caring and selfless people you'd ever meet'

Blanding said Peters' girlfriend was expecting him back home soon because he would be driving her to return a text book. She never saw her boyfriend again.

"What I will say is there was nothing that would lead me to believe that we'd be where we are right now," Blanding said.

Blanding read a statement about her brother through tears:

I am the proud sister of Marcus David Lamar Peters. On May 14, 2018, Marcus was shot and killed by a Richmond city police officer. Marcus was a very well spoken, focused family man who enjoyed spending time with his loved ones over a hearty meal or relaxing and watching a good movie.

Marcus was such a brilliant and intelligent individual. His personalty and big grin was contagious. It was almost impossible not to befriend him. Marcus was a role model for many family members, friends and community members. Marcus graduated class of 2011 from Middlesex High School with a GPA of over 4.0. He was very well respected by both his peers and educators.

His love and kindness towards everyone led to his election as class speaker for his high school graduation. He would give a moving speech that would cause the gymnasium to erupt in a round of applause. He was a member of the Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Honor Society, Spanish club, Building Black Achievers, Habitat for Humanity, and he served on the yearbook committee. He was aspiring to become a trauma surgeon. Marcus furthered his education at VCU.

During his time there he served as a resident assistant while also volunteering at a doctors office. Marcus graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in biology, minoring in Spanish, psychology and chemistry. His pursuit for a career as a trauma surgeon would unknowingly take a detour as he discovered his passion in education. Marcus would begin his career at Essex High School as he coined the term in his senior speech 'I'm proud of our past and excited for our future.'

During his first year of teaching, Marcus was passionate about his career as he worked hard to ensure academic and holistic success of all students.

Marcus requested to teach a life skills class in the 2018-2019 school year. He was elated when he was told he was able to. Marcus stressed how important it was for him to help students develop fundamental skills and  overall success.

Marcus stated they need to know that somebody cares about them and they need a role model to look up to. Marcus tried his hardest to be that role model for his students. Marcus is the third youngest of 12 children. He was a loving son, brother, uncle and family man. In the short time span on earth what we remember by those who love him and cherish all of the inspiration he evoked.

His peaceful, impactful, friendly personality will be dearly  missed. It is now my vow to Marcus and my family to continuously fight for justice, equality and change for Marcus.

Here are some facts i want the world to take into consideration. Marcus was clearly in distress, he was in need of help. Marcus was unarmed yet the police officer found it was necessary to to use deadly forces therefore killing my brother.

Our family wants to see the body cameras, dashboard cameras, the official police report. Marcus was an unarmed black man killed by a police officer who made the decision that because a taser wasn't effective, the only other choice was to kill him. Why are police officers not equipped with sedatives they could  ave used a sedative to control the situation and stabilize Marcus.

They didn't have to kill him. Marcus clearly couldn't have in the state he was in, any weapons. There was no where for him to conceal it.

We want justice for Marcus and we want answers. We want change. African-American male and females alike, deal with this continuously. I speak to my students so they can try to prevent themselves to be put in this situation where this would ever happen. Marcus was in distress.

He did not need a bullet, he needed help and the opportunity to get himself together and try again so he could continue on with his goals to help others and be an inspiration to our youth.

Blanding also said that "it's not enough to say 'justice for Marcus.'"

She it's time to "change our policies."

She said:

Nicholas Cruz  killed 17 people at the Parkland shooting. Travis Reinking killed four people at the Tennessee Waffle House. Dylan roof killed nine people in Charleston.

They were all armed and they received restraint ... they didn't receive death.

Marcus was an educated black man, son brother uncle educator and most importantly a believer in Christ.  He did not deserve to die. He deserved to get help and the chance to try again.

Allison Norlian will have more with the family on 12News at 5 and 6 p.m.

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