‘My son was talented and bright’ Mother grieving over only son’s tragic murder at gas station

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - He was a talented singer, actor and a self-taught pianist.

"I was hoping in the in the next 20 years he would be in the Tony Awards. He was just that talented," said Britta Brown-Whitehead, mother of 20-year-old Luis Zambrana Jr.

Whitehead's only son was taken from this world before he had a chance to continue his craft.

"I was like, 'What do you mean he has been shot?' and I just started hollering and screaming."

Whitehead, speaking only to News 3, said she was in Maryland when she got word that her only son was dead.

Police say Zambrana, a Norfolk State University theater student, was at the Exxon Mobile gas station and Vape Shop in the 13000 block of Jefferson Avenue just before lunch on Monday.

"I was the worst pain I have ever felt," Whitehead state.

Eight days prior, Zambrana had walked his mother down the aisle.

"It meant everything to me, it really did. He was a good boy; he loved me, and I love him," she said.

Tuesday morning, police said a suspect was taken into custody in connection with two homicides that happened Monday.

One was in Hampton on Ireland Street, and the other was in Newport News on Jefferson Ave. 

The suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Elijah Dayron Armstrong.

Armstrong has been charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in reference to the Newport News incident.

"It was very senseless. I don't understand why this person had to shoot my baby," she said.

Zambrana's family believe the two men knew each other and that Zambrana was dating the mother of Armstrong's child.

"We may never know what caused this. He is just gone way too soon," said Whitehead.

Armstrong turned himself in to authorities Monday night. He denied our request to speak to him from jail.

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