Witness says shooting victim died while trying to save a life

Published: Apr. 26, 2014 at 12:21 AM CDT
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Leroy Mitchell, 53 (Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
Leroy Mitchell, 53 (Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
Victor Hopkins. (Source: Laquan Hopkins)
Victor Hopkins. (Source: Laquan Hopkins)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock police are investigating three shootings that happened within eight hours of one another on Wednesday night.

The first shooting happened around 8:40 p.m. on East 26th Street and Ivory Avenue.

That is where police said 41-year-old Victor Hopkins was shot; he later died at the hospital.

Authorities have now charged 56-year-old Leroy Mitchell with his murder. His bond is set at one million dollars.

Hopkins' family and friends said Hopkins was trying to break up a fight when the deadly shots were fired.

911 calls capture a panicked community as they request immediate medical help for Hopkins.

"9-1-1 what is your emergency?" asked the 911 operator.

"There's been a shooting. Oh my God, oh my God," responded one caller.

"We need an ambulance on Ivory right now; somebody just got shot," said another caller.

Friends and family said Hopkins was shot two times in the chest.

"Mr. Hopkins lost his life for trying to save someone else's life," said Karisa Johnson.

Johnson said she is a long time friend of Hopkins and said she witnessed him trying to break up an altercation between Mitchell and a woman.

That's when she said Mitchell shot Hopkins.

Police secured a murder warrant and tracked Mitchell to the 1800 block of 2nd Street where they say he was arrested without incident.

"No words to be found, no words to be said, a heart that is just broke because of a good friend that I will never, ever see again," Johnson said.

Friends and family describe Hopkins as a peacemaker in an area that doesn't see a lot of peace.

"This area is nothing but trouble; he doesn't like trouble and that's just what hurts the most. I could understand if he lost his life behind something else, but to lose your life watching a man beat a woman? This is senseless," Johnson said. "Now he has to leave a family, a wife, beautiful kids. This is just unbelievable."

On Thursday, Hopkins' family and friends came together in prayer around a memorial they created in the spot where the deadly shooting took place.

As they mourn the loss of Hopkins, they hope the violence seen on Wednesday night will encourage a change for the better in the community.

"I fear for my kids, I do. Living on this block knowing that this just happened two doors down from me? I just wish they would do something about this neighborhood, like, really, because if they don't there's going to be more senseless killings just like this one," Johnson said.

Hopkins family asks the Lubbock community for prayers.

If you'd like to help Victor's family, contributions can be made at any PlainsCapital branch. Just mention the Victor Hopkins Memorial Account.

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