NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A local rapper was gunned down outside a hotel Tuesday morning. The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Anthony Sinclair.

The shooting took place outside the Days Inn on North Military Highway around 1 a.m.

Police are still investigating who shot Sinclair and why. On YouTube there are numerous music videos of Sinclair, also known as VilleBoy Ant, rapping about violence and gangs in Norfolk.

Police Chief Larry Boone posted a letter to the community on the police Facebook page urging communities and families to be more accountable, writing:

“I urge you to get involved in your child's life. Recognize the signs of criminal behavior, or the cries for help, and take action before it's too late."

Sinclair’s mother admitted her son wasn’t perfect but said pointing fingers isn’t going to solve anything.

“I guided him in the right direction what he did outside my house I had no control over,” said Sinclair’s mother, who did not want to be identified.

“What he had across his chest is ‘chase your dreams’ and that’s what he was doing chasing his dreams and evidently somebody didn’t like it,” said the mother.

Boone also wrote that in order to clean up the violence they need the community to work with them.

“What was once a waterfall of firsthand testimony, turns into recanted tales, faded memories and retracted witness statements.”

Sinclair’s cousin said it’s a two-way street.

“When we were coming up, you ran to the car and get a snicker, you get a baseball card, you get a lolly pop or something, now you might get tazed running up on a police car,” said Victor Sinclair.

Sinclair is a youth football coach; he says families are trying to raise kids the right way, they just need more resources.

“Put some pressure on things around here, get some activities, it’s not all about locking a kid up,” said Sinclair.