20-year-old dies after being shot in Newport News hotel

Photo of Cody Kelly from 20-year-old victim's family.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A man was shot in a Newport News hotel Saturday evening and later died at a local hospital, police say.

Tyjuan Lamont Blockett (Photo credit: Newport News PD)
Tyjuan Lamont Blockett (Photo credit: Newport News PD)

Officers got the call around 9 p.m. about a shooting at a Microtel Inn on Operations Drive. Police arrived and found 20-year-old Cody Clarence Kelly had been shot. He was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead just after 9:30 p.m.

Investigators say Kelly was at a gathering in a room at the hotel and at some point 19-year-old Tyjuan Lamont Blockett pulled out a handgun, which discharged and struck Kelly.

Police charged Tyjuan Blockett with murder, use of a fire arm in commission of a felony, and reckless handling of a firearm. He is in the custody of the Newport News Sheriff’s Office.

Kelly’s sister, Shawna Patterson, told 10 On Your Side, “I lost my brother and I can’t never see him again.” She spent Sunday surrounded by friends and family, trying to cope with the sudden death of her only sibling.

“Through all the day, it has been rough. Very rough because we know he’s not going to walk through that door like I normally see him come through here,” she said.

Patterson says about eight people were in the room when police say Blockett’s gun went off. “It was an accident but its senseless and it should not have happened and he’s not coming back,” she said.

Patterson described what members of the group told her to 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings. “They just did clink, clink, put it on the table. The other guy said clink, clink, put it on the table but they said clink clink and it went straight and hit him right here went through his lungs and he was like, ‘I’m hit, I’m hit’ and everybody thought he was playing,” she said.

Patterson says witnesses told her Cody ran to the elevator and collapsed on the 1st floor. She says she harbors no ill will to the young man who shot her brother but has this message for other teens.

“Don’t play with guns, they are not toys.”

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