Friend says youngest Walmart shooting victim ‘just started’ working at the store
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Hampton Roads community continues to mourn after Tuesday’s mass shooting at the Walmart in Chesapeake.
Meanwhile, News 3 is also learning more about the six victims.
SEE MORE: Chesapeake Walmart shooting victims range in age from 16 to 70
Thursday, a crowd gathered around a makeshift memorial outside of the Walmart on Sam’s Circle to remember and pray for the victims. The emotional event honored the youngest of those lost; a teenager. And while police have not yet released his name, loved ones at the vigil identified him as 16-year-old Fernando Chavez.
“I’m out of words, and speechless that it was him,” said Joshua Trejo-Alvarado, a friend of the victim. “I was hoping everything was a dream until today. I wish he was still standing here with me. I prayed yesterday night with my whole family for him. We got flowers and candles at home for him too.”
Loved ones told News 3 that Fernando had just started working at Walmart and used his first paycheck on gifts for his mom. Trejo-Alvarado said he didn’t know Fernando was one of the victims until Wednesday morning, making the news even harder to digest.
“I called him in school, risking my phone being taken,” said Trejo-Alvarado. “I texted him, and he didn’t respond. That’s when I texted his brother and asked him if Fernando was good, he was like no he didn’t make it.”
Balloons and flowers at the scene honor the son, student, and friend taken too soon.
“He would always be outgoing with anybody he met. He was nice,” Trejo-Alvarado.
Many local residents came out Thursday to show their support by adding to the growing memorial. They told News 3 their thoughts and prayers are with the families as this has rocked their entire community.
SEE MORE: Chesapeake Strong: How you can help victims’ families of the Chesapeake Walmart mass shooting