RICHMOND (WRIC) - A vigil is held for a Richmond man murdered on Gordon Avenue early last Saturday morning. Friends and family say he may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation.
Rodney White was murdered just days before his 23rd birthday in a Richmond alley. Friday night, family and friends gathered to remember him and mourn together.
Rodney had a lot of friends and a very close family.
"He always kept a smile even on his rainy day he always, always, always, always, always kept a smile," says White's godfather Paul Hawkes.
As loved ones sang, prayed, and talked about Rodney, many tried to make sense of why he was killed.
"He wasn't argumentative or an aggressive guy at all so I really don't understand," says cousin Kenna Hertsch.
Some say he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.
Friends say he had recently decided to become a woman and go by the name Amari Hill.
"He was dressed transgender and I think he was targeted," says friend Danielle Davis. "He was making big life decisions and changes and coming into his own and he was happy about the choices he had finally made."
Police aren't commenting on specifics of the case but say, as of now, it's not being called a hate crime.
"Rodney was a victim of an incident that never should have happened," says Major Steve Drew.
As friends and family raised candles to heaven and wish Rodney a late happy birthday, they search for peace.
Police tell me they have several leads in this case and they're confident that somebody will be arrested.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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