VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Friends, family and fellow sailors are mourning the death of Brandon Haith.
Someone shot and killed Haith over the weekend in Virginia Beach. The Georgia native served as a quartermaster aboard the USS Elrod.
Sunday, people gathered for a vigil in Haith’s honor along the same street where he died.
A day after his friend and shipmate died on Barberton Drive, Steven Joyce continued making his makeshift memorials. “I felt the need that he needed not only hats on a pole or cross in a tree, but he needed his own place,” Joyce said. Under a blue cross he carved for his Navy brother, Joyce cleared a spot for a quiet vigil a few yards from where Brandon Haith died.
“If I could do more, I would,” he explained. “If I could bring him back I would. But you can’t bring back something that’s already gone.”
With sticks and pine cones, Haith’s shipmate made a spot for him with a message of hope for a life taken too soon. When the memorial was finally finished, Joyce led loved ones, friends and even strangers of Haith in a remembrance ceremony.
They remembered not how he died, but the life he led. As the ceremony wrapped up, Joyce spoke with police. His attention turned to justice.
“It’d be nice if the person who did the evil thing that they did came forth,” Joyce said. “Not just hide, because if you were a real person and you can do that to a person, then you can fess up to what you have done.”
Navy officials confirm Haith joined the Navy in 2012. He was a quartermaster and E3. Haith served on the USS Elrod until March, when he began reporting to USS San Antonio. Both ships are stationed at Naval Station Norfolk.
Virginia Beach Police are working with the NCIS on the investigation.