Mother of shooting victim forgives, asks those involved to come forward

Marquis Benton with his son. (Photo courtesy: Benton Family)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead and another injured.

Police said the two victims walked into Maryview Medical Center just after 5:45 p.m. Sunday. According to detectives, one of the men had serious injuries and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General, where he later died. He was identified as 29-year-old Marquis Benton of Portsmouth.

The second man had non-life threatening injuries and was treated and released.

Detectives have not been able to locate the scene where the men were shot nor do they have a motive for the shooting.

Benton’s mother, Leslie Benton, said she last saw her son Saturday night.

“He said, ‘Mom, I love you, and I’ll talk to you later,'” she said.

The next time she would see him was in a hospital bed, before he died.

“From my understanding, he supposedly went to see what supposedly happened about his sister, so if they killed him for that, then he died doing what Mama taught him to do,” she said.

Benton had three children. His mother said he had a big personality, but it’s the small stuff she will miss about him.

“His smile and his calling me on the phone to say, ‘Mom, I love you more than life’…They don’t know what they did. They took a family man. Someone who just loved everybody,” Benton’s mother said.

Benton’s mother said she had heard the shooting happened in Prentis Park. That’s where Portsmouth Dispatch told WAVY News that around 5:30 Sunday evening they got calls for gunshots into vehicles at Des Moines Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Neighbors there Monday night showed WAVY News cars damaged by bullet holes. Nearby Zion Bethel United Church of Christ was also struck by gunfire, according to staff.

“I heard six series of shots – bang, bang, bang. I then contacted Portsmouth Police via 911 and brought all the children in and made sure they got to their respective houses,” said Rev. James E. Thompson, III.

Thompson said the bullets barely missed a deacon who was inside preparing for a funeral.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠. Callers are never asked to give their name or required to testify in court. If a caller’s tip leads to an arrest, the recovery of drugs or stolen property they could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.

 

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