NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The family of a Hampton University student shot and killed early Saturday morning has a message for the community: “put the guns down.”
Police say a fight turned deadly just after 3 a.m. Saturday. Joseph Bose, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene near the intersection of West 35th Street and Killam Avenue.
“I’m not shocked about where. I’m shocked about who,” said Robert L. Williams III, Bose’s cousin.
“He was a kind-hearted, warm-spirited, really nice guy,” said Williams Jr.
Bose’s cousins say the Hampton University junior journalism student and Alexandria, Va. native was visiting friends at Old Dominion University for the weekend. There was still widespread shock on Hampton’s campus Sunday miles from the crime scene.
“When it happened everyone’s phone was blowing up, because it was a holiday everyone was worried about each other,” said Kaitlyn O’Leary, a freshman at Hampton.
Officers say there was a fight before the shooting, but the Williams’ say it didn’t have to end in gunfire.
“It was basically a sad case of bullying,” said Williams Jr. “He basically got called out here at the wrong place and wrong time.”
There’s now a fire in their bellies to bring more peace to Norfolk. Bose’s family feels the city is hurt and needs healing.
“We have to change our way of thinking, the community has got to come together and say: ‘no more. We’re not going to tolerate it anymore,'” said Williams Jr.
The family’s plea comes just one day after Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith’s public call to action.
“We need the community to help us out, and let us know what is going on and we can take the appropriate action to ensure people’s safety,” said Goldsmith.
Bose’s family vows to help the police out. They say they’ll do whatever it takes to bring the community together in order to spare another family from their tragedy and heartbreak.
“He didn’t deserve this,” said Williams Jr.
Police have not said if there are any suspects in the shooting. Those with information are being asked to please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.