‘They started shooting’Published 10:00pm Monday, November 18, 2013
A young woman killed Saturday died after stepping into the middle of an argument involving her boyfriend, according to two teens who knew her, one who says he was at the party where the shooting happened.
Damien Parker, who was a fellow senior with Denisheya King at King’s Fork High School, said Monday he and the 18-year-old were among “10 or 20” gathered at the house in the 400 block of St. James Avenue.
“It was just chilling and stuff, and then somebody brought a gun,” he said. “It was an argument or whatever … (and) I ran out of the house.
“I was one of the fastest ones out, and then they started shooting. I didn’t know who they were. Someone started screaming, and I was running. I heard the next day she got shot … and died.”
Suffolk spokeswoman Diana Klink confirmed King was pronounced dead at the scene after the incident about 2:27 a.m.
Parker said he didn’t know the victim very well.
“We had classes (together) last year, but it was a ‘hi-and-bye’ relationship,” he said.
King’s Fork sophomore Destani Spratt, who described knowing her better, said King died “over a boy.”
“They were supposed to shoot somebody else, and they shot her,” Spratt said. “She was trying to protect her boyfriend.”
Parker said King “jumped in between” her boyfriend and the person with whom he was arguing. He didn’t know what the argument was about, Parker added.
Spratt said her friend was “just a cool person. She was always happy and laughing. I had class with her last year, and I hung out with her a lot. She wasn’t mean, but she would express her feelings.”
Deborah David said she was home when the party across the street started, left for a while, then returned to find St. James Avenue had become a crime scene.
A funeral home collected King’s body at 6:47 a.m. from where it fell near the curb, she said. “From what I heard from someone over there, she was running like everybody else was running. She fell on the ground and she didn’t move anymore,” David said.
She compared the killing and its apparent circumstances to 2005’s shooting death of another Suffolk schoolgirl, Diane Holland, on Hunter Street.
About a dozen students at King’s Fork High Monday had spoken to a crisis counselor, according to school district spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw.
Some students will sell ribbons to raise money toward a memorial arrangement at the funeral, she added, and a 7:30 p.m. candlelight vigil is planned for the front of the school Tuesday.
The school’s principal, Stenette Byrd III, notified parents of the death in an automatic phone message, encouraging them to “talk with your child about their feelings regarding this tragedy.”
According to an unverified Facebook page for the event, a vigil will also be held at the shooting site on St. James Avenue 5 p.m. Thursday.