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'A vibrant young man' | Father of Menchville High School shooting victim shares who his son was

Mike Dunham's teenaged son Justice asked to go to a basketball game Tuesday night, but he never returned.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Updated Funeral Information:

A viewing for Justice will be held at Liberty Live Church in Hampton from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22, according to his father, Mike Dunham. A church service will then be held afterwards, and Justice will be buried at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home & Memorial Park. 

Plans are also in the works to possibly dedicate an athletic area at the Boys & Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula to Justice, according to Dunham.

Credit: Contributed, Mike Dunham

Days after a deadly shooting at Menchville High School in Newport News, a memorial honoring 17-year-old Justice Dunham grows outside the school.

The Woodside High School student-athlete is beloved by classmates, friends and family. 

"Justice was my hero," said his father, Mike Dunham. "Justice was a vibrant young man. He was an energetic young man. He was kind. He was compassionate."

Mr. Dunham says his son was a hard worker, interested in sports and even real estate. He had goals of going to college.

"I'm going to miss him every day for the rest of my life," said Mr. Dunham.

RELATED: Memorial forms honoring victim of shooting on Menchville High School campus

After a basketball game at Menchville High School Tuesday night, police say some sort of fight involving Justice and an 18-year-old Demari Batten unfolded. 

Investigators say Batten fired the single deadly shot. 

According to court documents, Batten told detectives that he was "jumped" by a group of people. 

During which, Batten says he grabbed a gun and fired a shot not knowing who he hit.

RELATED: Menchville High shooting suspect told police he fired his weapon while being assaulted, court documents show

"Let's say there was a fight. It never has to get to this," said Mr. Dunham.

He told us he doesn't know much about what happened that night.

"I can't think of any configuration of events that would have happened to justify what happened to Justice," he added. 

Police also say they recovered two guns in the car Justice was traveling in. 

Mr. Dunham says his son didn't have a weapon and he doesn't know who those guns belong to. 

What he does know is that the violence has to stop. 

"Unfortunately, there's a lot of families that don't have two active parents, that don't have people who don't worry where they are—and we did. At the end of the day, it still wasn't enough," said Mr. Dunham. 

Credit: Contributed, Mike Dunham

The family is still making funeral arrangements. They will make that information public as soon as possible.

The family also asks that any donations go to the Boys & Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula. To find the fundraising page, click here.

RELATED: After Menchville High shooting, Newport News school board member to host unity walk

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