Unsolved Spotlight: Justice for D'Angelo Hooks

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - D'Angelo Hooks was on the fast track to success. At the age of 16, he had a 3.5 GPA, worked two jobs, bought his own car and wanted to become a Marine. 

But everything changed on Nov. 2, 2014 when shots rang out at a high school party. The Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide, but three years later, almost to the day, no one has been arrested. 

In tonight's "Unsolved Spotlight," his family speaks to Fox 16's Kevin Kelly, sharing for the first time why they believe there is more than one party responsible for his tragic death.
 
On a brisk Saturday morning Ida Mae Hooks, along with her grandkids are shouting, "Victory Over Violence" along with a hundred others. 

In their hands, pictures of a good-looking young man with a bright smile. 

"This is my grandson and he was killed. He was shot Nov. 2, 2014," she says. 

Hooks is referring to D'Angelo Hooks, whose nickname was 'Man.' 

Walking with her grandmother is Adrianna Thompson. She too is holding a picture of her cousin. 

I asked her if it's still difficult... after all this time. She tells me, "Yes it is... it's just heartbreaking." 

But there is some comfort keeping his memory alive by participating in FOX 16's "Victory Over Violence" walk. What they really want is for those responsible to be caught.

On Nov. 2, 2014, 18-year old D'Angelo Hooks had just gotten off work from Regal Theaters in North Little Rock. When he got home, he asked his mom if he and his brother, Edward Sanders could go to a high school party. His mother, Danyell Hooks-White said they could under one condition. 

"I told my sons to call me right before they got ready to come home," said Hooks-White.

Shortly after one o'clock in the morning her phone lit up her room. Her son Edward Sanders was on the other line with horrific news. 

"He told me... 'Man' had been shot in the head," she explained.

According to a Pulaski County Sheriff's Office report, more than 80 people were at the party on Primrose and East 46th St. in North Little Rock, when out of nowhere... shots rang out. 

According to Hooks-White, chaos erupted. 

"D'Angelo was running to his car. Everybody was running. Trying to get away," she said.

Sanders made it to their car, but when he looked behind him for his brother D'Angelo... he was nowhere to be found. Investigators say D'Angelo was caught in the crossfire and was found lying in a ditch shot in the head.
 
He was flown to UAMS with a severe brain injury and immediately underwent surgery. Both his mother and sister were among the first to see him. The images of seeing him critically injured in the hospital are still fresh. 

"I just could not believe that was him," said Hooks-White. 

His sister, Brittany Hawkins said, "I was crying. I ran out of the room. He was swollen... and blood was everywhere." 

Doctors did all they could but the damage done to his brain was just too severe. 
"They were saying if I put him back in the emergency room he would die. He was too weak," said Hooks-White. 

D'Angelo would remain in the hospital for the next six weeks. He underwent two more surgeries, but doctors told his mother his quality of life would never be the same. Still unresponsive, he was eventually transferred to Brookside Health and Rehab where things would only get worse. 

"I just couldn't believe it," said Hooks-White. What she's referring to is a stage four bedsore, so severe there was a gaping hole on his lower back. Hooks-White says without a doubt, the sore was not there when he arrived from UAMS. 

"When he left UAMS, we examined him and it wasn't there," she continued.

111 days after being shot, multiple surgeries and dealing with a stage four bedsore... D'Angelo passed away. His death certificate says he died from multiple gunshots. But D'Angelo's mother believes the nursing home ultimately caused his death. 

"He survived the gunshot. He survived 111... all them days," she said. 

She also believes her son was killed, not once, but twice. First by those who shot him and then again at the nursing home.
 
Three years have passed since the shooting and investigators are still actively searching for those responsible. They, along with family members are just hoping someone comes forward with the answers they need to solve the case.
 
A case summary from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division states that no witnesses who attended the party could provide a detailed description of the shooters. But witnesses did say they saw what appeared to be a burnt orange Dodge Charger or Challenger (similar to the one you pictured below) leaving the scene. 

If you can help investigators or have any information about who might have killed D'Angelo Hooks call Crime Stoppers at (501) 340-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and could receive a reward.


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