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18-year-old dies after shooting at holiday cookout at a Hopewell park: 'He was a good person'

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Posted at 12:57 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 17:30:19-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- An 18-year-old has died after a shooting during a holiday cookout at Arlington Park on the Fourth of July.

"About 100 people, maybe at the park, celebrating the 4th of July," said Hopewell Police Lt. Mike Langford.

Hopewell Police received calls about gunshots being fired and a person needing medical assistance at the park on Courthouse Road around 8:30 p.m.

"Over 40 rounds were fired at least," Langford said.

When police got there, they said they found a man in the road with life-threatening gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man was later identified as Joshua Israel Psalms Arrington of Hopewell.

"I went to school with him, had a few classes with him. He was a good person, though, for real. He was funny, always laughing, all that," one person who knew Joshua said. "Rest in peace to that little man bro."

Police said at least eight cars were struck by gunfire. Three of those cars remained at the park on Monday, all riddled with bullet holes.

"We're really lucky not to have more injuries or fatalities here last night," Langford said.

With so many shots fired and multiple shooters believed to be involved, police are still trying to determine Joshua's role in the fatal shooting.

"If he was the target of those rounds or if he happened to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time," Langford said.

Tracy Taylor was at the park at the time of the shooting. She said that she's grateful for her last-minute decision to not bring along her granddaughter.

"I was going to bring my granddaughter up here to the cookout and I decided not to. Because of this reason, I'm glad that I didn't," Taylor said.

The Hopewell Police Department is requesting that anyone with information to contact Lead Detective Kate Williamson of the Hopewell Criminal Investigations Unit at (804) 541-2284.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also contact the Hopewell Prince George Crime Solvers hotline at (804) 541-2202 or use P3tips mobile app.