Gregarious and beloved Riverhead High School graduate Demitri Hampton had been living with extended family in Flanders when he was shot and killed early Sunday by “at least two” masked men who had broken into the home, Suffolk police said.
Detectives are still investigating whether the intruders picked the house for a random burglary or if someone who had lived there or was believed to be in the home at the time was a target, Lieutenant Jack Fitzpatrick told the News-Review Monday.
“No evidence either way; we’re investigating both possibilities,” Lt. Fitzpatrick said. “Until we know more we’ll keep open minds on that and investigate either way as both as potential scenarios.”
Lt. Fitzpatrick described the living arrangement as “a family unit.”
“The deceased is the nephew of the homeowner,” he said. “He had a cousin who was home, and younger cousins who were not home that night.”
Detectives are declining to say how many people were home at the time, and whether or not they were awake when the suspects busted through the Priscilla Avenue home’s front door at 3 a.m.
“They were masked, wearing black clothing and black masks,” Lt. Fitzpatrick said.
Mr. Hampton was shot in the chest during a struggle with the intruders and was later pronounced dead at Peconic Bay Medical Center.
A family member reached at the house Monday said Mr. Hampton was studying criminal justice at Suffolk County Community College — and confirmed all the positive things friends and others have been saying about the young man — but declined to comment further.
The suspects fled the shooting scene Sunday and police did not have anyone in custody as of Monday, Lt. Fitzpatrick said.
Both a wake and funeral service will be held Saturday morning, according to Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton, which is handling the arrangements.
The services will be held at Galiee First Church of God in Christ on 87 Old Quogue Rd. in Riverhead.
The wake is set for 10 a.m., with a funeral mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Southampton Cemetery.
Additional reporting by Paul Squire