MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. – Family members are remembering Elijah Baker, the 18-year-old Gloucester man killed in what police called a “murder by mob” at Middlesex house party last weekend, as a kind and compassionate young man.
Melissa Baker said she is still coming to grips with her son’s death two weeks before what would have been his 19th birthday.
"I'll miss his hugs and kisses,” Baker said. “Elijah would just come up and hug me and hold my hand."
Baker remembered her son’s infectious smile.
"He was kind, loving, caring [and] compassionate,” she said. “You know, he always thought of others before himself."
Family members said Elijah Baker came to a house along the 5000 block of Gen. Puller Highway in Middlesex County on Saturday to be with friends who lost a loved one not knowing that he would be killed hours later.
Crime Insider: More than 2 dozen shots fired
The Middlesex Sheriff's Office received a 911 call in reference to a party with minors and the smell of marijuana around midnight on Saturday. That caller, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that there were guys there from Lancaster County who were trying to start a fight.
Then moments later another 911 call from the same address reported someone had been shot.
More than two dozen shots were fired, according to Crime Insider sources.
Witnesses said that during the party, a group of uninvited individuals pulled out a handgun and began passing it around their group.
A verbal fight then began between the group members and the victim.
Someone pushed Baker into a room where he attempted to lock the door and escape through a window.
As Baker was climbing out of the window, he was punched by one of the individuals who had broken through the door.
Once Baker got out of the back window he ran towards his truck that was parked in the back yard of the residence, according to witness statements.
When Baker reached his truck, he was chased and shot.
Eyewitnesses said at least one additional person was shooting, as well as another group member pointing a gun.
The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force helped arrest one adult and five juveniles.
- Kemonte Deshaune Smith, 18, White Stone, first-degree murder.
- Tariq Joel Beane, 16, Merry Point, first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and brandish or point a firearm.
- Three other unnamed juveniles and one adult all charged with first-degree murder by mob
Aunt: 'I can't imagine'
The grieving mother said it is hard to fathom the cold actions of what she calls "boys" ruining the lives of so many.
"I hope he didn't suffer," Baker's aunt, Sheri Svoboda said. "I can't imagine what was going through his head when those guns were firing."
Baker offered the following message to Elijah’s friends:
"There's a lot of people so angry about what happened to him," she said. "I don't want retaliation. It doesn't help for someone else to have to bury their child."
This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips here.