It’s been one year since the murder of Hampton University student Joseph Bose, and police still have not found any updates surrounding the case. Last Halloween, Bose was shot in Norfolk, Va. at the corner of 35th Street and Killam Avenue after attending an off campus party near Old Dominion University.
Hampton University student Joseph Bose was killed last year. His murder remains unsolved. (Facebook Photo)
Police have not made any arrests nor do they have any new information concerning the case, according to a spokeswoman for the police department, leaving his friends and family without answers. The family originally offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who came forward with information that could lead to an arrest in the case. However, after months without any leads, in April the Bose family doubled that reward to $20,000.
“We need witnesses to come forward and be willing to testify as to what led up to Joseph’s death, and who killed him. We know there were plenty of people there that night, and we know there were plenty of witnesses to his death,” public information officer for the Norfolk Police department Daniel Hudson told The Afro.
“The police need the community’s assistance, just as much as the community needs the police. When both powers join together, they become an unstoppable force in reducing crime,” said Hudson.
“It was hard when it happened at that moment, but now that a whole year has passed, sometimes it seems like it’s almost harder because there aren’t any questions or leads in the investigation or case,” said close friend and Hampton University student Phillip Jackson. “It’s just strange that after a whole year there really hasn’t been much of an update about who was involved.
Jackson had known Bose since their freshman year after staying in the same dorm together. He also helped to put together a vigil to commemorate the anniversary of Bose’s death on Oct. 30. This vigil was held at Hampton University’s campus and was closed to the media.
“Most of the people, especially our class, everybody generally knew of him. The fact that he had such a familiar face especially with the class as a whole, that had such a strong impact,” said Jackson.
Hampton University student Norman Wilkerson has also befriended Bose since freshman year, and was with Bose the night of the shooting. Wilkerson said that there was a verbal argument after Bose was followed by a group of men after leaving the party.
“Five minutes into the fight, you just hear gun shots,” said Wilkerson. “Everybody started running. I turned around to see Joe on the ground, so I ran to Joe and started giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation. Joe wasn’t Joe, and then he died. Thirty minutes later, that’s when the police came. It was a pretty horrible night.”
“It’s like an experience you never forget, to see your friend get taken” Wilkerson added.
Bose was a 20 year old journalism major from Alexandria, Va. His friends described him as well liked and well known in the Hampton University community.
“The best way I could describe Joe is Joe had compassion for a lot of people,” said Wilkerson.
“He was honestly one of the most positive people that I knew,” said Jackson. “He was just a really good friend.”
Bose was one of four shootings that night in the Norfolk area. Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith released a statement on Facebook after the shooting.
“As a parent, I cannot fathom this inherent disregard for human life. As a Police Chief, I refuse to allow this mentality to become commonplace in our city,” said Goldsmith. “We all have a social responsibility to guide our youth and prevent these senseless acts from becoming a permanent fixture in our society.”
Still desperate for answers, the family has encouraged others to step forward. Along with increasing the reward money, they also paid for a billboard that reads “Who has Joseph Bose’s blood on their hands?” to encourage witnesses to step forward.
Hampton University released a statement on TK asking that any witnesses help the investigation. “We encourage the entire Hampton Roads community who may have information that could assist authorities to come forward to the Norfolk City Police to assist with their investigation. Our heart continues to go out to the Bose family,” they wrote.
Bose’s friends plan to honor his legacy by continuing to finish off their senior year. “We feel like he should have had the same opportunity to graduate and get a degree just like we do. It’s just about us staying on track” said Jackson. “Because if he were still here he’d still want us to finish.”
“Our heart goes out to Joseph’s parents, family, and friends. Our investigators have worked countless hours attempting to solve this case, not only for the family, but the community and for the police department as well. We implore anyone with information regarding the circumstances surrounding his untimely death, to call the Norfolk Crime Line,” said Hudson.