MANASSAS, Va. - Parents of a young man murdered in Arlington are pleading with the shooter to turn himself in.
Michael Gray, 23, was killed early Sunday as he was leaving a party on North 29th Street, in the Williamsburg section of the city. Police are still searching for the man they say pulled the trigger, 37-year-old Jason Allen Johnson.
"This man took my son's light, he took his life," said Gray's mother, Gretchen Carreiro. "And he should be punished for it."
Friends who were with Gray that night at the party say he got in an altercation with Johnson, but when it was over, no one thought much of it. They say Gray went on to have fun with friends, laughing and snapping pictures. Then, as Gray went to leave the house at around 3:30 a.m., witnesses say Johnson was waiting outside and shot him.
"We're suffering because it was so senseless," Carreiro said Tuesday. "I don't know why his life had to be taken at 23-years-old, just at a party enjoying himself. He knew a lot of people there, he had friends there. And this person, I don't know what the altercation was, but it wasn't worth my son's life."
She describes her son, who grew up in Manassas, as a bright light, someone people gravitated to wherever he went. He was also a big brother to 11-year-old Roland.
"He loved his little brother very much," she said. "He would always take him up to the basketball court."
Gray's family is hoping the shooter will turn himself in, and if that doesn't happen, that someone who knows where he is will decide to speak up.
"My son didn't deserve this," Carreiro said. "And if you know anything about this person, please give the police the information. Because he should be brought to justice."
"I guess our hope is that maybe a friend of a friend or someone who hears a rumor or has a suspicion will help Arlington (police) out," said Gray's father, Russell Carreiro.
Police say they believe the suspect is armed and dangerous. Johnson is from D.C. and investigators think he could be there or in Prince George's County.
Arlington Police said Tuesday that they have been working around the clock, with over 30 investigators involved in the case. They say they've followed up on multiple leads. You can provide anonymous tips by calling 1-866-411-TIPS.
Gray's family is planning a memorial for him Saturday at noon at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.