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Man arrested for murder at Exxon in Newport News, deadly shooting near Phoebus High School

Police said Elijah Armstrong killed a man at a gas station in Denbigh. He's accused of shooting and killing a ride-share driver in Hampton within hours of that.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Newport News police arrested a man for a murder that took place at an Exxon service station in Denbigh on Monday. Hampton officers said the same man is responsible for a deadly shooting that took place in their city within hours of the gas station murder.

Elijah Dayron Armstrong, 21, faces two counts of First Degree murder, plus other charges.

The shooting at the Exxon, located at Jefferson Avenue and Kate's Trace Circle, took place shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.

Newport News police said the person who died was Luis Eduardo Zambrana, Jr. of Newport News.

Zambrana's sister, Layla, said her brother was her best friend.

"He was such a great person, goofy, and lighthearted," Zambrana said. "He put a smile on your face."

Credit: Layla Zambrana

Layla said her brother went to Norfolk State and majored in Theater. She said the last time she saw him was at their mom's wedding last weekend, a day she'll never forget.

"I'm close with my brother, he was my best friend. We shared everything with each other, and he would never do something to where you need to shoot him," Zambrana said.

Credit: Layla Zambrana
Credit: Newport News Police Department
Elijah Dayron Armstrong

RELATED: Newport News Police identify man arrested for deadly shooting at Exxon gas station

A short time later, there was a shooting in the Phoebus section of Hampton. Police found Lamar French, 38, in a parking lot at Phoebus High School. Medics took French to the hospital where he died.

RELATED: Hampton police arrest man after man found shot, killed in Phoebus High School parking lot

Hampton police officers said French was a ride-share driver and Armstrong was his passenger. They added that there was no indication that French knew Armstrong before the shooting.

His cousin, Mario Hamlin, told 13News Now they don't know Armstrong and are confused why he would kill an innocent man.

"How do you lose everything you've worked hard for just like that? Over an act of foolish violence?" said Hamlin.

He said his son is a student at Phoebus and was in class while French was in the parking lot after he was shot. French is Hamlin's son's godfather.

Armstrong was in the Newport News City Jail Tuesday. He declined requests for an interview.