Family, community remembers Portsmouth city employee killed while on the job

Posted at 3:22 PM, Jan 11, 2017

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The daughter of a man killed while on the job says she did worry about her father.

However, it was for the long hours, on-call schedule, and sometimes working in treacherous weather conditions.

Stephanie Allen-Perry says she never worried about someone else killing her father, Willie.

"He was so, so dedicated to that job," she says. "He was more than a city worker, he was a dad first, but he loved that job so much."

Portsmouth Police say they found Allen around 9:45 on Tuesday, unresponsive, by the Portsmouth Public Utilities pump station on Pavilion Drive. After hours of investigating, officers discovered that he was murdered.

Erin Trimyer, Director of Public Utilities, says Allen, a pump station mechanic, was on-call Monday night when the pump station alarm went off.

Dispatch contacted him to respond to the pump station, which Trimyer says is their normal protocol.

"We are a very small department, we’re a family, his loss is deeply felt by all of us and our hearts go out to his family as well. He was very helpful, a great mentor to new employees that have come in, his loss will be deeply felt," she said to News 3 over the phone.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that Allen died from a gunshot wound.

"He loved everybody and everybody loved him, to think about somebody that would harm him I'm drawing a blank, we don't know, and we need answers," says Allen-Perry.

The senseless killing not only rattled Allen's family but also his church community at Living Word Victory Center.

"I was heartbroken," says Reverend Dr. Johnnie Drake.

Reverend Drake says Allen followed him to his church after spending several years with him at another church, where Allen sang in the choir.

They were encouraging him to get involved again this year at Living Word Victory Center.

"I was looking forward to seeing him more during 2017 and it's just so sad that isn't going to happen," says Leah Stith, a member of the church.

Portsmouth Police say they still do not have any suspect information to release.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.