Family wants answers after man is arrested in Hampton fatal shooting

Posted at 12:00 AM, Aug 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-14 06:55:50-04

Hampton, Va. - One of Hampton's most wanted fugitives is behind bars thanks to a Crime Line tip.

Brandon Coles is accused of gunning down a man he was arguing with at a party.

Now the victim's family is speaking out for the first time.

Patricia Lovelace is heartbroken over her son Mike's violent death.

The 25-year-old was gunned down on July 27th at a party in Hampton.

“He was getting his life back on track with God.  He was doing so good in church and everything and he was just taken from us so violently,” says Lovelace.

Mike was a new father with four-month-old twin girls.

“They won’t get to see him and they loved him so much,” says Lovelace.

Police say the man who shot Mike was 20-year-old Brandon Xavier Coles.

“The only thing we came across was that Brandon and Michael were acquaintances and got into an argument and then shots were fired,” says Detective Michael Snelgrow.

Detective Michael Snelgrow took us back to the scene of the crime on Milford Avenue in the Wythe neighborhood in Hampton.

He said investigators zeroed in on Coles as a suspect within days of the murder. Thanks to a Crime Line tip, he was arrested in Newport News.

But now detectives need more information about the shooting.

When police arrived on the scene, everyone had scattered.  Those witnesses were gone.  They need to hear from them and anyone who was around there and saw anything on Milford Ave.

“If you say you love my son Michael, you say you're his friend, come forth,” says Lovelace.

Now, Patricia clings to all she has left -- her memories.

Things like Mike's big smile and his talent for music bring her family comfort through their grief.

Now that her son's accused killer has been caught, she wants answers.

“In my heart, I do forgive him. but I don't understand why he had to take my son. If he could just tell me why he did it, that's all I would want to know,” says Lovelace.

The suspect, Brandon Coles, has a history of violence.

We first told you about him in a taking action against crime story when he was a fugitive in June of 2012.

He was caught after our story and pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding for shooting a man walking down the street in Hampton.

Coles now faces murder and firearms charges and he's also charged with burglary and grand larceny in a different case.