Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
Tyrique Hudson was known for his giving heart and humble spirit.
“I always taught him about giving and being a blessing to others,” said his mother, Tonya Burch. “He was a remarkable child.”
Now his family and friends are grieving the loss of the 22-year-old Wilson Early College Academy graduate after he was gunned down in his Maryland apartment stairwell early Monday morning. Tyrique’s neighbor, 53-year-old James Verombeck, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Wilson man’s slaying.
“This is a different kind of hurt no parent wants,” Tyrique’s mother said. “He is my one and only child. He has always been my heart and joy.”
His father, Tyrone Hudson, said the pain of losing his son has been unbearable.
“I’m heartbroken,” he said. “You really can’t think. You’re in disbelief.”
Tyrique, a software engineer, had sought a protective order against Verombeck two months prior to his death after the neighbor allegedly threatened to kill the young man when he went to take out his trash on Feb. 16, according to news reports. Verombeck allegedly made a throat-slitting gesture to Tyrique, who had never met the man prior to the strange encounter, his family said. He feared for his safety and immediately called 911 after the interaction and filed a police report, his family said. But a district court judge denied his request for a protective order on Feb. 19.
Tyrique not only feared for his safety, but he was worried about Verombeck — a man he didn’t know and had never spoken to prior to the encounter.
Police arrested Vermombeck Monday after a 10-hour standoff where he had barricaded himself in the apartment building after he shot and killed Tyrique, police said.
The judge who denied Tyrique’s request is on temporary assignment in the county as the Maryland Court of Appeals decides whether she should be suspended following an unrelated complaint from the commission on judicial disabilities, the Baltimore station, WJZ-TV reported.
‘YOU WANT TO PROTECT YOUR KID’
Tyrique’s mother said her son had looked for a new apartment three days prior to his killing. He didn’t feel safe in his own home.
“He was planning to move,” she said.
Tyrique’s father said his son called his family after the strange incident on Feb. 16. He said his son couldn’t describe the feeling he got when he encountered the neighbor.
“Tyrique never saw him again until that morning,” his father said about Monday. “He knew Tyrique’s every move.”
He said he can’t imagine what his son went through during his final moments.
“Just imagine your kid being faced with that,” he said. “You want to protect your kid.”
His mother said there are just so many unanswered questions.
“What triggered him to go out and kill my son?” she asked. “It doesn’t make sense.”
News outlets reported that Verombeck is on suicide watch and may suffer from mental illness.
His mother said after the Feb. 16 encounter with the neighbor, the apartment complex cited the man with a lease violation.
“Not only did the system fail him,” she said. “The apartment manager failed him. They should have done more than a lease violation.”
A GIVING HEART
Tyrique moved to the Glen Burnie area, a suburb of Baltimore, in 2018 after he graduated from N.C. A&T State University for a software engineering job. He flourished, his parents said.
“He was driven by his own goals and things that he wanted out of life,” his father said. But Tyrique never bragged about his ambitions and accomplishments.
“He was humble,” his father added. Tyrone Hudson said he taught his son to be non-confrontational, to protect others and always do the right thing.
“He always went above and beyond to do the right thing,” his father said.
Burch said her son was blessed being able to go to college.
“My son, the legacy, the life he lived even in his short time, has blown me away,” she said.
Tyrique was adamant about giving back to the Wilson community. During the Christmas season, he purchased $5 Chick-fil-A gift cards for all the children in his mother’s classroom at Land of Learning Childcare in Wilson. He recently sent his mother money for her to purchase Easter cups with all the children’s names on them, too.
He also talked with his mother about establishing a college scholarship fund for someone deserving at Wilson Early College Academy.
“When I talked to him about giving back, he wanted to give back at the early college level,” she said.
Wilson Early College students will hold a gathering to remember Tyrique today at 6 p.m. in the courtyard of the school’s campus. If it rains, they will meet inside Wilson Early College’s cafeteria, school officials said.
‘MY SON DESERVES TO BE CELEBRATED’
Tyrique’s mother said he loved his family and church. She never had any problems out of her only son growing up. He was just a good kid with a great heart.
“His legacy will make me proud because it will carry on,” she said.
The family said they’ve had amazing support from friends, their church family and the community. They’ve also relied on their faith during this time.
She said his funeral will be held April 27 at 11 a.m. at Contending for the Faith Church in Wilson.
“My son deserves to be celebrated,” she said. “I just want to get through his celebration of life then we will proceed with justice.”