Riverhead school superintendent Nancy Carney’s voice shook with emotion as she spoke about the Riverhead High School graduate killed in a Flanders home invasion earlier this week.
“There was so much in front of Demitri, but he also has left us with so much,” she said to the group of mourners.
Hundreds of friends and family gathered on a windy Thursday evening to remember 21-year-old Demitri Hampton at a candlelight vigil held in front of Riverhead High School.
Mr. Hampton was shot and killed after two armed masked men burst into his cousin’s house early Sunday night, police said. Suffolk County detectives are still investigating the crime.
Ms. Carney told the crowd to learn from Mr. Hampton’s example and “cherish each and every day.” She urged those gathered to work to stop violent crimes in town to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again.
“We have to join together to stop violence in this community,” Ms. Carney pleaded. “This tragedy has affected everybody in not only the school community but the entire Riverhead community. This has to stop. We can’t allow this here.”
The crowd of friends and former classmates bowed their heads in a moment of silence for Mr. Hampton during the vigil.
Others spoke about Mr. Hampton, and how he affected their lives. Riverhead High School principal David Wicks said it was Mr. Hampton’s sense of humor that stood out.
“I will always remember Demitri for his smile, for his ability to make me laugh,” he said. “I’m having a smile about him right now just thinking about him.”
Elder Albert Brown of the Galilee Church of God in Christ in Riverhead said a prayer at the ceremony.
“We do thank God for the life of Demitrius Hampton, the love, the friendship, the joy and the laughter that he brought to those who knew and loved him,” Elder Brown said. “Certainly our lives were enriched by his life.”