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Petersburg police seek leads in young father’s brutal murder

PETERSBURG, Va. -- On the morning of May 3, 22-year-old Tahjmere Hopkins was found tied, bloodied, and shot on a random front porch in Petersburg.

“It was one of the most brutal murders that I’ve ever seen,” said Lt. Emanuel Chambliss of the Petersburg Bureau of Police.  “He was beat, he was shot, he was tortured.”

Hopkins’ body was found completely naked, with his hands tied, feet tied, and tied to a metal chair on the front porch of a home on St. Matthew’s Street. Police say his body was tied with “some type of tape from a construction site that may have been used to do drywall work.”

While police believe he was shot there, they believe the assault took place elsewhere. Lt. Chambliss says the crime scene stretched more than a block, with evidence collected in multiple locations leading up to the front porch.

“Oh my Lord, I mean yes he was tortured and I mean it was real bad,” said Lee Tucker, who lives across the street from the scene of the crime and made the 911 call regarding Hopkins death. “I wouldn’t want to see that done to my worst enemy.”

“People that’s committing crimes in this neighborhood, they don’t live here at all,” Tucker continued.

Hopkins had been living in Virginia for seven years, but in Petersburg for only three months, police say. Hopkins mother says he was loved by many, including a two-year-old son.

Hours before his death he had gone to Virginia State University to play basketball with friends. After that, his whereabouts are unknown.

However, police do say that the manner of his death is clear.

“It appears a message was trying to be sent,” Lt. Chambliss said.

However, the police that in order for this case to be solved, the public needs to come forward with information.

“We need their help, but there’s a mindset of ‘I’m not going to snitch,’ and that’s hindering our investigation,” Lt. Chambliss said.

If you know anything about this crime, Petersburg Police ask that you contact the Petersburg Police Major Crimes Unit at 804-732-4222 and select option #5 or call Petersburg Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212. You will remain anonymous and if your tip helps, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1000.