Vigil held for 21-year-old man shot, killed Tuesday night in New Haven

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Gibson’s grandson Richard Whitaker, Jr. was shot and killed in the area of Columbus Avenue and Thorn Street just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I just loved him to death. It’s been an awful loss. It’s not fair. It’s heartbreaking to have your loved ones doing ordinary, everyday things and being gunned down,” said Shirley Gibson.

He was 21 years old.

His brother, 28 year old Dayshon Smith, a well-known amateur boxer, was gunned down a half mile away last summer.

His killer has never been caught.

Wednesday, New Haven’s newly announced regional shooting task force—including NHPD detectives and investigators from the sSate’s Attorney’s office– canvassed the area for surveillance video, witnesses, and other evidence that may lead to whoever shot Richard.

RELATED: 21-year-old man shot, killed near Thorn St. in New Haven; PD investigating as homicide

Meanwhile, Gibson is struggling with having lost two grandchildren—brothers—to gun violence within one year.

“My grandsons are gone. And I’m not supposed to be burying my grandsons. I’m 76 years old, and here I am.”

“The shooting task force is on scene following up with a significant amount of police presence, detectives last night to investigate. This is the reason we have reinstituted the shooting task force so we can work very seamlessly with our federal, state and regional partners, and other police districts, so we can ensure we solve these shootings,” said Mayor Justin Elicker, “I know some residents are concerned about their safety when they share information, but this has got to stop.”

Richard and Dayshon leave behind a 9 year old brother, Xavier. Their mother passed away several years ago. 

 “Now poor little Xavier, he’s the last one left, the baby and now he’s left without his mother— my daughter—and also his two brothers who he looked up to. It’s just devastating,” said Gibson.

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