Column: Demitri Hampton was the best type of person

01/31/2013 2:59 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampon appeared on the cover of a Suffolk County Community College campus magazine in 2012.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampton appeared on the cover of a Suffolk County Community College campus magazine in 2012. He would have graduated this spring.

The extended family had already suffered a big blow two years ago, when grandma died. She was the rock who for so long seemed to hold everything together. But during those trying times of late 2011, as the first holidays without her approached and a long winter set in, everyone had Demitri to lift their spirits

Michael White

Michael White

Never too far away, the then-teenager could make for a moment of levity during any time of despair, and by any means necessary. That meant he wasn’t above donning a wig or a skirt, or randomly spraying himself with air freshener. He was also prone to rolling on the floor in fits of laughter. With Demitri around, you couldn’t help but smile and forget whatever pain you might feel.

“I don’t think I would have been able to get through Grandma’s passing without Demitri,” said one of his cousin’s, Fawn Gettling.

“He always lived on a positive note” and was never in a bad mood, explained another cousin, Latisha Diego.

That’s the cruel irony behind Demitri Hampton’s death during a home invasion early Sunday in Flanders. His personality and positive outlook is exactly what his family and the rest of his loved ones need most right now.

And they are at an utter loss to imagine how, exactly, they will manage without him.

Demitri had the misfortune of being awake and playing video games when two armed men broke through the front door of the Priscilla Avenue house at 3 a.m. Determined to protect his sleeping girlfriend and family, he had fought with the intruders before he was shot in his chest and later died at Peconic Bay Medical Center. No one else was hurt before the suspects fled.

“He will forever be a hero,” said his sister, Jennifer Davis. “There won’t ever be a time when I won’t miss my little brother.”

For Ms. Gettling, she believes her loss is the gain of her grandfather, who died in 2004, and grandmother.

“The thing that I keep saying to my brother, and I keep in my brain, is that he was always doing whatever he could to keep my grandma laughing,” she said. “I believe that he’s in heaven making my grandma and my grandfather laugh hysterically, so they’re up there cracking up.

“So that helps a little bit.”

Demitri was hardly a do-nothing prankster though; he had big dreams and he was working toward achieving them.

Whether it was going to be through acting, modeling, comedy, a college degree or the Air Force, the charismatic young man had been intent on becoming “somebody,” as his relatives said. Just the type of person who usually makes it in this world.

But he wanted to help others just as much as he wanted to help himself, performing small, heroic acts long before his death.

“He was very encouraging,” said Ms. Diego, recalling the hours before his death, as the two shared some of their hopes and plans for the future as they watched movies on her king-sized bed. “He was saying, ‘It’s gonna be OK. It’s gonna be OK. I know you’re going to do it.’ ”

“He had that ‘no man left behind’ type of mentality,” added his cousin Neko Gettling. “He believed that if he could make it, everybody else could too.”

That showed through his extracurricular activities at Riverhead High School and the middle school, where he volunteered for seven years with the Council for Unity anti-gang group. Then, at Suffolk County Community College, he served as a mentor and role model through the Black Male Network, a newly founded student club devoted to encouraging high school students to go to college.

Basically, his family and friends explained, he had a simple message to high school kids: “I’m going to college; and so can you.”

That’s the other irony in Demitri Hampton’s tragic death. What’s almost certain is that these killers — whose race or ethnicity is unknown — were at some point the type of at-risk youths Demitri had always sought to help through his volunteer work. Had they all met in another time and place, Demitri might have taken them under his wing to get them on the right track.

In killing him, they not only brought unspeakable grief upon his friends and family, but theirs as well, as they will surely be caught and wind up spending decades in prison. During that time, they’ll get to reflect not only Demitri and his shortened life, but the lives of all those other souls he never got the chance to help.

Michael White is the editor of the Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at 631-298-3200, ext. 152 or mwhite@timesreview.com.

44 Comment

  • The key is to know when to bet on a particular by of pole won’t lines for Pennant and +150 to win the World Series. free bet offers Well you can always paper-trial it by just recording the field bear slightly as well London scheduled for 6:25 EST.

  • Pingback: A man who made everyone smile | Riverhead News Review

  • Pingback: Demitri Hampton honored as a hero at Suffolk Community College | Riverhead News Review

  • Terrific operate! That is the variety of facts that must be shared across the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this submit higher! Arrive on around and pay a visit to my website . Thanks =)

  • Thanks for your weblog posting.Thanks Once again. Definitely Wonderful.

  • I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  • Ortopedisk medicin är diagnosticering och ickeoperativ behandling av rörelseapparatens mjukdelar, muskler, senor, ligament, leder, ledkapslar, bursor samt lesioner i nacke, bröstrygg och ländrygg. Korrekt diagnosställande och direkt insatt åtgärd eller behandling leder till mindre lidande för den enskilde, snabbare återgång till aktivitet och arbete samt mindre belastning av samhällets resurser.

  • I think this site has very excellent indited subject matter blog posts.

  • Free Open Source Website Analytics Software – Providing Website Traffic and Visitor Data & Information. Trusted by 450k websites worldwide!

  • Snarkning är en folksjukdom, På grund av de medicinska riskerna som associeras med snarkning. Men nu finns det effektiv hjälp Snarkning är ett ljud.

  • Great blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  • How can I write a letter of thanks to the administration? iranianuk

  • چت,چت فارسی:برای چت کردن در بزرگترین چت روم ایرانی و داغترین سایت چت وارد داغ چت شوید.

  • Piwik and Parsigate.com ( Sweddata.com ) plugin connects your Joomla website with your Piwik and Parsigate.com ( Sweddata.com ) Analytics and you can choose different settings from various of options …

  • تبلیغات خرید و فروش کلیه همچنان در خیابانهای اطراف انجمن حمایت از بیمارن کلیوی دیده می شود.

  • Nice job with the article, it’s nice to find to a site that gets to the heart of the topic. Love it

  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I

  • Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my website =). We will have a link exchange arrangement among us!

  • An intriguing discussion will probably be worth comment. I think that you just write much far more about this topic, it may possibly become a taboo topic but usually consumers are inadequate to communicate in on such topics. To yet another. Cheers

  • Pingback: Google

  • This is certainly one particular poll that I am just not providing any credence to.

  • Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  • I’m not certain how the “W21 rally wheels are “rarely seen today” fifty percent the Mopars built in that era appeared to obtain them and in many cases much more wear them now. I obtained a laugh from “rare factory Slick Top”. So it will not have got a vinyl roof major offer.

  • I have a love/hate connection with Hilton but I was nonetheless glad to determine this news. Frequent Organization Traveler GlobeRunner Award Winners Announced

  • Thank you very much for sharing this webpage, I just wish I had found it sooner! Considering the subject matter, you have done a superb job of making this informative, while fun to read – good job, well done! I like to try and learn something everyday, and this article has certainly taught me something. My wife always used to say “a day without learning something is a day wasted”. I have certainly learned a lot from this piece, cheers. If you don’t mind, I’d like to post a link to your site from my Google+ page, is that okay?

  • This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  • Hey There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. This is a really neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  • As a web-site owner I believe the material here is reallyfantastic. I appreciate it for your time. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck..

  • I think other site owners should take this web site as an model – very clean and excellent style and design, not to mention the content. You’re an expert in this area!

  • I like what you guys are doing. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys. I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my website. :)

  • Good web site! I really love how it is nice on my eyes it is. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which may do the trick? Have a great day!

  • Good post. I am a regular visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the future too. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own site going now. Really blogging is spreading its wings and growing fast. Your write up is a great example.

  • I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :).

  • I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank God I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again…

  • Wow! This can be one of the most helpful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually wonderful info! I’m also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  • I haven’t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are really great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend. :)

  • I think other web-site owners should take this web site as an model – very clean and fantastic style and design, as well as the content. You’re an expert in this area!

  • Hello, you used to write wonderful posts, but the last several posts have been kinda lackluster… I miss your super articles. Past few posts are just a bit out of track!

  • Hi, you used to write magnificent articles, but the last few posts have been kinda lackluster… I miss your super posts. Past few posts are just a bit out of track!

  • I am very happy to read this. This is the type of details that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.