No. 2 Top News Story: Unsolved killing of an admired young man

12/31/2013 11:00 AM |
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO  |  Demitri Hampton's memory was honored Saturday at a fundraiser for a scholarship in his name.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s memory was honored Saturday at a fundraiser for a scholarship in his name.

A beloved local college student and Riverhead High School graduate was gunned down in a botched home invasion at his cousin’s Riverside home in January, stunning the close-knit school communities that later rallied around his grieving family.

Demitri Hampton, 21, was staying with his girlfriend at a cousin’s house when two masked men stormed into the home about 3 a.m. on Jan. 27.

Mr. Hampton, who was awake playing video games in the basement at the time of the break-in, rushed upstairs and confronted the armed men. He tried to fight them off in the kitchen but was shot in the chest.

The two men quickly fled the scene and Mr. Hampton was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

Nearly a year after his death, no arrests have been made. Suffolk County police say homicide detectives are still investigating the case.

“I’m praying for justice,” his mother, Juanita Trent, said in July. “I just want this closure for so many people, not just myself. For my children, for his friends.”

He had been a member of the Blue Waves basketball team, and was part of the high school’s anti-gang program. He was studying at Suffolk Community where he volunteered in a mentoring program for young men.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.