Saturday, September 23, 2023

An employee at a local auction gallery was shot to death Tuesday. Here’s what police say happened

UPDATE: Police on Wednesday, Oct. 3, identified the man who died as Courtney Dewayne Thomas, 30, of Hampton.


HAMPTON — An employee of Phoebus Auction Gallery was handling a gun inside the business Tuesday when it discharged, killing a co-worker.

That’s what police found during a preliminary investigation. Authorities said “this appears to be an isolated event between two known subjects who were both employed by the Phoebus Auction Gallery at the time of the incident.”

At around 2:43 p.m., officers were sent to the business in the first block of East Mellen Street to investigate a “shooting complaint.”

There, they found “an adult male suffering from a single gunshot wound.”

That man was pronounced dead at the scene. Information on his identity was not immediately released.

Police noted that “the exact circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation and the case is ongoing at this time.”

The identity of the employee who handled the gun also was not immediately released.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

Related Articles