Police: Video shows gestures at Newport News high school basketball game before fatal shooting

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 16:20:59-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A teenager died in a shooting after a basketball game at Menchville High School Tuesday night.

Newport News Police said during the game, there was video footage showing gestures back and forth inside between people.

On Wednesday during a press conference Police Chief Drew said a large crowd went outside after the game. The suspect, 18-year-old Damari Batten, went to a vehicle, then the victim, 17-year-old Justice Dunham, approached the vehicle and an altercation happened. Dunham was then shot.

Police initially said Dunham went to the vehicle first, but issued a correction Thursday.

Officers gave first aid and CPR to the victim, but he died from his injuries at the scene.

Chief Drew said an individual was detained and taken to be interviewed Tuesday night. As result of that interview, Batten, who is a student at Warwick High School was arrested. He was charged with Second Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm on School Property.

The Chief added that the arrest was a direct result of quick response by police and students who were in the parking lot.

One firearm was recovered, and two others also were found. Chief Drew said one firearm was used by the suspect and the other two were in the vehicle that victim arrived in.

School was canceled Wednesday for all Menchville High School and Woodside students. Staff still reported for work and News 3 watched as a small group gathered in a parking.

Menchville High School gathering on Wednesday
Menchville High School gathering on Wednesday

To assist students and staff a support hotline was set up starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. Anyone impacted who needs help is asked to call 757-283-7868 to speak to a student support specialist, the school said.

You can also call the Hampton-Newport News Community Services line for 24 hour help at 757-788-0693.

Stay with News 3 for updates.