Four young children who call Vincent Lamont Blakey “Daddy” woke up without him Wednesday.
On Tuesday, around 1 p.m., Blakey, 35, was shot down in the 100 block of Gores Row between Orange and Dock streets. The Wilmington man was pronounced dead at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Police have not revealed a motive in the killing.
In a gut-wrenching ritual that follows acts of street violence in Wilmington, Blakey’s people are reeling from his loss.
“He was the type of person who looked out for everyone,” Blakey’s stepfather Omar McIntyre said, his voice heavy with grief. “He was an excellent dad, not just to his kids, but to nieces and nephews and all the people that needed him.”
Blakey was born in Brooklyn, McIntyre said, and moved to Wilmington before his 10th birthday. He was a graduate of New Hanover High School and served a stint in the before returning to the Port City. He was the oldest child in a blended family of seven children.
“Everybody liked him. Everybody loved my son,” said McIntyre, who had raised Blakey since he was 5.
On Blakey’s Facebook page, amid videos of him and his kids, Blakey advertised that he planned to release an album of music Friday. In his lyrics, the Wilmington man rapped about living in the Port City and growing up in a downtown Wilmington neighborhood that stretches along Fourth Street, Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street between Nixon and Red Cross streets.
Much of the neighborhood Blakey lived in as a teen has undergone a transformation. In a video posted to YouTube, Blakey takes the videographer on a tour of area, known as the “456” or “DBlock,” and notes how the ABC store used to sit in the middle of the road and reminisces about how the once-predominantly black neighborhood was self-sustaining with a large grocery store and fast food restaurants that have long since been torn down.
“We was a community. We was a village. You ain’t hearing nothing about nothing happening to no kid from over here by somebody from over here,” Blakey said in the video. “We had a village. We was all safe over here.”
Blakey’s killing is the sixth homicide investigation for the Wilmington Police Department thus far this year.
The shooter remained at large Wednesday.
According to police, a large crowd was in the area when the shooting happened. Anyone with information regarding Blakey’s death may contact the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or Text-A-Tip by texting “CRIMES” and starting the text with “Tip708.” All texts to Text-A-Tip are anonymous.
Reporter F.T. Norton can be reached at 910-343-2070 or Fran.Norton@StarNewsOnline.com.
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