Unsolved: Portsmouth teenager killed at work

Posted at 11:00 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 07:05:22-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The sub shop on the corner of King Street and Confederate Avenue sits boarded up and closed. It's a constant reminder of the murder of 18-year old Omar Booker and how the case remains unsolved.

Omar Booker

"That's a night I'll never forget," said Maxine Vinson, Omar's mom. She had just spoken to him the night of January 20, 2015. About 20 minutes later, police rushed to Philadelphia Cold Cuts on a report of shots fired. Once there, they found Omar Booker lying inside on the floor. The shop's cook was dead.

"That just ripped my heart out of chest because that was my baby, my baby boy," said Vinson.

Omar was in the back of the shop that night about to take out the trash as the shop's owner counted money in the front. The next thing they knew, someone was shooting.

"Why did they kill him? For what? For nothing," said Vinson.

Police tried to move quickly in the investigation, releasing surveillance images that showed two people running toward and then away from the sub shop right around the time of the murder. Police still don't know who those two are, but believe they are the people responsible.

"They got two guys running from the scene, but they can't identify them," said Vinson. "Why not?"

A lack of physical evidence is contributing to the case remaining unsolved, according to police.

Omar's family said he kept to himself and just went to school and work. He stayed out of trouble, but for some reason that wasn't enough.

"I think about it all the time," said Vinson. "They killed my son like that for nothing."

The shop's owner offered a $10,000 reward, but still there are no new leads.

Omar left behind a 2-year-old son, who is now growing up without a father. His family had the difficult task of explaining the loving father wouldn't ever come home. "We show him pictures, like, 'That's your daddy,'" said Roshonna Booker, "He's in heaven."

The family believes Omar is still with them. His mom now has a tattoo on her arm. "That's my angel. I carry him here every day for the rest of my life 'till I take my last breath," she said.

Regent University announced a scholarship in Omar's name in December. Each year, it'll help a Hampton Roads student who lost a parent to murder.

Anyone who can help bring the family closure is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

More coverage:

Store owners offer $10,000 reward to find teen’s killers

Vigil honors teen murdered in Portsmouth sub shop