Varina grad, ODU student dies after attack near campus

Posted at 8:26 PM, Feb 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-24 10:19:54-05

NORFOLK, Va. (WTVR) -- Police are searching for two men after a deadly aggravated assault near Old Dominion University's campus early Sunday morning.

Norfolk police identified the victim as 20-year-old Paul Johnson.

A family friend told CBS 6 News that Johnson graduated from Varina High School in 2012 and was a sophomore at ODU. The friend said Johnson was one of six boys and that he was the third from the oldest.

“Me and my friends are pretty torn there have been a lot of tears there have been a lot of hugs ," Johnson’s friend, Joey Theil, told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George. “He was pretty much everything you looked for in a college student he had everything going for him."

Police said Johnson was hit in the head on Hampton Blvd. around 1 a.m. Sunday. He was a block from his apartment when he was attacked.

Eyewitnesses said the random encounter happened around 1am near old dominion's campus, Vince McDonnell saw paramedics give Johnson aide.

"I walk up there is a man receiving CPR in the street,” McDonnell said. “I was here for 15 minutes."

Johnson was rushed to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, but died Sunday afternoon.

Workers said the cameras at a 7-Eleven near where the attack took place were not working. However, security cameras outside the The Edge Nightclub were active.

Zach Cannon, the club manager, thinks some of the attackers were caught on video, so he gave detectives a copy of the footage.

The Norfolk Police Department, along with the Old Dominion University Police Department, are investigating the attack.

Warrants have been secured charging two individuals in this incident.

David William Grimm Jr., 21, will be charged with 2nd degree murder. Christopher Chase Johnson, 20, will be charged with misdemeanor assault. [RELATED: Click here for more on this story from WTKR in Norfolk]

If you have information that could help police, contact the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-Up or the ODU police department at 757-683-4000.

ODU President John Broderick sent an email to the campus community Sunday.

“We are all outraged by this senseless tragedy and I know you join me in sending your heartfelt condolences to Paul's family and friends…," Broderick wrote.  "Earlier today, I and members of the university administration met with the Norfolk City Manager and Chief of Police, who promised to devote additional police resources to this investigation and to engage in further dialogue with the university community about safety issues and concerns.”

The ODU Women's Center posted on its Facebook page that students and staff members affected by the tragedy can call ODU Counseling Services at 757-683-4401 for support.