Rite Aid shooting victim’s sister: “I think it’s a tragedy for both families”

Posted at 8:04 PM, Oct 11, 2012

A man just released on bond for a deadly Rite Aid shooting is now in the hospital.

Bernell Benn's lawyer tells NewsChannel 3 that Benn was hospitalized for gunshot injuries he received during the August shooting.

Meanwhile, the shooting victim's sister is speaking out about Benn's release on bond.

Pictures are all Bonita Houmita has left of her baby brother.


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Police say Ramon Colorado died after exchanging gunfire with Bernell Benn inside the Tidewater Drive Rite Aid.

“I know my brother pretty well, and he would not shoot somebody or just pull a gun and start shooting at somebody. I never believed that for one minute," says Houmita.

But yesterday, a Norfolk judge granted Benn bond because of something he saw in the surveillance video of the incident.

I don’t know, you know, what happened. I didn't see it, but do I believe my brother would shoot at him?  No," says Houmita.   

In August, Benn told NewsChannel 3 that he and Colorado got into an argument after Colorado jumped ahead of him in line.

Soon after, he said Colorado, pepper sprayed him.

"Yeah, he come from behind me, and took his hand and sprayed me in the side of my eye," says Benn.   

Moments later, Benn said Colorado showed up with a gun.

"He`s hollering in the store, where you at, bro? I got more for you. Where you at? I`m scared to death. I slipped my gun out of my pants and just stayed to the rear for a minute. I wasn`t looking for nobody," says Benn.  "So I said, sir, put your gun down.  Just like that. When I said that, he swung around and pop, POW! That`s when I started popping." 

A bullet pierced Benn in the back, but Colorado died of his wounds.

“I don't hate Mr. Benn, or his family," says Houmita.  “I think it's a tragedy for both families.” 

Colorado was well-known in Norfolk for his criticism of local government.

The former Norfolk sheriff's deputy moderated a Facebook page.

He posted a video of himself being arrested on YouTube protesting a rape awareness walk.

Norfolk officers took him into custody.

Houmita says her brother's activism doesn't mean he was the aggressor on the fateful day.

“He wanted to try to make a difference, and he did what he could," says Houmita.

She also says whatever she will see from the surveillance video, won't turn back the hands of time.

“It can't be changed, he's always gone, and none of it can be changed," she says.   

The video of the shooting has not been made public.

Benn will be back in court next month.