Norfolk community remembers teen shot and killed on playground

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 09:26:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. – The playground on Thurgood Street in Norfolk remains a vivid reminder of a life cut short by a senseless shooting.

Kristopher Edmonds’ family said the playground behind his home is where he was shot and killed early Tuesday morning.Kristopher was just 15 years old.

“No mother should have to outlive her child,” said Latisha Riddick, a friend to the Edmonds family. “That’s one of the worst pain in the world.”

Kristopher’s grandmother, Wanda Edmonds, said he was a good kid, athletic, smart and loved by everyone.

“I don’t say this in front of my other grandkids, but he was my favorite because he had eyes like me,” she said.

Wednesday evening, the grief-stricken community came together to honor Kristopher at the site of the shooting on Thurgood Street. Dozens of people then walked a block over to the basketball court where Kristopher was playing ball moments before he was shot.

“We’re tired of our brothers shooting our brothers,” Stop the Violence Team Chairperson Bilal Muhammad yelled into a megaphone.

Police said Kristopher was with two friends, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old who were also shot but are okay. Carolyn White, who grew up in the community, knows the 14-year-old boy. She said he was shot in the back twice and just came home from the hospital Tuesday night.

“They killing our daughters; they killing our babies,” said White. “This is not what it’s supposed to be about. Y'all are our future and if they get rid of y’all, who going to be the future for us?”

Bebop, as Kristopher was known, was spelled out in candles on the court – a game his grandmother said he loved.

“He called himself a man,” said Wanda Edmonds. “He was 15, but he said, ‘I’m a man.’ Once he got that deep voice. I don’t know, there’s just something about him that really stuck with me.”

Kristopher’s death is the latest in a seemingly endless series of shootings over the past three weeks alone, most of them involving kids.

Edmonds is confident the person who pulled the trigger will be caught soon.

“As this goes on, they're going to make a mistake,” said Edmonds. “Somebody is going see this, or hear this, and that's when they going to get him.”

Related: Norfolk neighbors take a stand against gun violence after 15-year-old boy killed

For the heartbroken family, justice can’t come soon enough.

“He’ll never be forgotten,” said Edmonds. “He definitely won’t be forgotten.”