PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Saturday night, a teenage boy from North Carolina was shot and killed during the Danville-Pittsylvania County Fair in the parking lot of the fairgrounds.
Neighbors and friends confirm this young man was 16-year-old Josh Rone. He was well-known for playing football for Bartlett Yancey High School in North Carolina.
His coach, Joshua Brumfield, has known Rone since the sixth grade.
“He was a laughing, joking, rambunctious kid. He was really focused on going to college and trying to play ball,” said Brumfield. “He had just recently improved a great deal, character-wise. Academically, he had a newfound focus for that.”
Neighbors say Rone was at the Danville-Pittsylvania County Fair on Saturday, Sept. 18 when a fight broke out. The fight continued to the parking lot of the fairgrounds and turned into a fatal shooting.
According to Melquan Carr, who was inside the fair during the shooting, “Everybody in the park took off running, it was like a stampede. Signs got knocked over and everything.”
Rone had been employed at Old Dutch Supermarket in Danville.
“He always made everybody smile, he was always happy, he was a good worker,” said the supermarket manager, Gwen Rowland.
The supermarket says Rone recently stopped working to focus on football, a love he shared with his friends and brother.
“We decided we’re going to push forward and play this Friday and try to honor him through our efforts at least,” said Brumfield.
WFXR reached out to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office for updates and has not heard about any progress in locating a suspect.
If you have any information about the shooting, you are asked to contact the Pittsylvania County Crimestoppers at 1-800-791-0044. You can remain anonymous while still being eligible for the reward.
Meanwhile, officials with the Danville-Pittsylvania County Fairgrounds say the fair is still set to continue through Saturday, Sept. 25. If you have any questions about safety while visiting the fair, managers recommend calling or emailing the staff.