HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton father Melvin Moore is broken by the nightmare that keeps replaying in his head.
“It was traumatic,” said Moore. “It will haunt me the rest of my life. It was your worst fear.”
Moore drove to the scene the night of the shooting where he said his son, Brian, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Brian was 24 years old. His father is now grappling with the immense loss.
“I can feel him his presence all around,” Moore said. “Just always expecting him to come down the stairs and [say], 'Dad, can I borrow the car?'”
The bond between the father-and-son duo was unbreakable.
Brian, who was born on his father’s birthday, shared a love for fishing with his dad.
“Sweet kid,” said Moore. “He was gentle to a fault. He loved to fish. I taught him how to fish at young age, and he would take his friends fishing and they'd be scared to take the fish off the hook, so he would do it for them.”
Moore wishes he could have had one last fishing trip with his son.
“Now he’s gone and like I said, that eats me up,” he said. “That eats me up more than anything right now because I thought I just had more time.”
Newport News Police are still investigating what exactly happened on July 12 when they say Brian was shot and killed.
Moore said his son was fishing earlier in the day and then decided to visit a friend on 28th Street and West Avenue.
Brian died at the scene.
According to police, a 21-year-old woman from Washington, D.C., was also shot that night but survived. Moore said the woman told him his son saved her life.
“It brought me to tears,” he said. “She told me I raised a good man. He saved her life and trying to process it all at that time.”
Brian was one of four siblings and a father of three young kids. His youngest child is a 3-month-old baby girl named Lola.
Moore said his son had an infectious smile and was a force on the football field with dreams of one day making it big.
A suspect, 24-year-old Robert Damon Stonewall of Hampton, was arrested a week after the crime. He was charged with first-degree murder, among several other charges. It is unknown if Stonewall and Brian Moore knew each other.
As Moore fights for justice for his son, he said nothing can lessen the pain of his death.
“It won't bring him back, and I would trade places with him in a heartbeat because I know he had a full life to live,” Moore said. “I don't think my son needed to die on the streets that way because he was such a great kid. He was awesome to me, and I could tell by the funeral that everybody loved him.”
Stonewall remains behind bars at Newport News City Jail. His next court date is in November.
This isn’t Stonewall’s first run-in with the law. The 24-year-old was also arrested in Hampton in 2016 for attempted robbery with a firearm.