CHESAPEAKE -- Family members say a 19-year-old shot and killed in a hostage situation Sunday said he was trying to protect his mother from an ex-boyfriend.
Derwin Watts was a senior at I.C. Norcom in Portsmouth. He had just made the honor roll and would have graduated this year. He'd planned to go to college, his aunt said.
'We're so proud of him that he could accomplish that,' stated Tashona Winslow.
Winslow says the accused gunman, Charles Collins of North Carolina, was Derwin's mother's ex-boyfriend and they'd split earlier this year.
She described Watts as a brave young man who was always looking out for his older sister and mother.
'He very much wanted to make sure that they were safe,' said Winslow.
Winslow explained that Watts was initially misidentified in the hostage situation by police which the family believes resulted in his care being delayed.
'Apparently when he ran down the stairs he had already been shot so there was visible blood on him. So when he got to the bottom of the stairs the police apprehended him because they didn't know who he was and they cuffed him,' said Winslow.
'My sister somehow yelled down and said no that's my son, please help him.'
Family said the second person found dead in the home, Michael Temple of Elizabeth City, NC, was a friend of Watts's mother, Tanisha Watts, but wouldn't elaborate further.
Most of the family has gathered at a relative's home in Windsor, NC.
'She's (Tanisha) doing her best. It's very difficult being a single mom. She was very close to her children,' said Winslow.
At Norcom Monday, the principal said extra counselors were on hand for students or staff affected by the shooting.
Collins, who was wounded when police stormed the apartment, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, five counts of abduction and multiple firearms charges.
An account has been set up to help Watt's family pay for his funeral services. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank under Derwin 'DJ' Watts.