A Norfolk mother celebrated her son’s 16th birthday, by his graveside on Thursday.
Monti Hughes, a rising sophomore at Granby high school, died on August 13th.
"My son left out the house and said, 'mom I'll be back,' and never came back. Then I get the call that he'd been shot, and then I get to the hospital, and they said he didn't make it,” said Hughes’ mother Toya Cooper.
According to officials, on August 13 around 8 p.m., dispatchers received a call of a gunshot disturbance in the 1300 block of Herbert Collins Way. Arriving officers found the teen suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
The teen was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he died from his injuries.
"My son was a warm loving spirit. He touched any room that he walked in and he didn't have to do much, but say a few words. He was vibrant. What happened to my son has a purpose, and it is bringing light to a lot of things,” said Cooper.
Cooper said the community needs to listen to her message.
"It's time to put down the guns. It's time for the young ones to stop having the perception that they can be something in the streets that they can't be behind bars.” Said Cooper.
On August 13, police arrested 20-year-old Naquan M. Alexander of the 900 block of Wilson Road. Alexander was charged with Second Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm.
Norfolk police later released the names of three others connected to the murder. In addition to Alexander, 19-year-old Remono Newby and 19-year-old Freddrick Reid have been charged with Second-Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm.
The fourth suspect, 20-year-old Demontae Tyler has been charged with being an accessory after the fact and is out on bond.
Monti's uncle, Aubrey Cooper, just wants to see justice when the men go to court on January 3rd, 2019.
"We have to deal with not being able to visit, not being able to see our loved one. When we do go to court and everything is finalized, are we going to be left with that bitter taste in our mouth,” said Aubrey Cooper.
Monti’s mother agrees.
"Once you take a life there's not taking it back, so young people need to think twice. Justice will be served either way it goes. Whether it's in Heaven, Hell, or on Earth,” said Cooper.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13News Now App.