UPDATE: Fairfax County murder victim remembered as a ‘champion for kids’

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Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a female who may have information regarding the homicide that occurred on Friday, May 20, 2016 around 2:20 a.m. in the 6000 block of Richmond Highway.

The female was seesketch picture fairfax homiciden in the parking lot prior to the incident. She was described as black, with a light complexion and almond-shaped eyes.

If you recognize this person, or if you have any information about this crime, please contact Detective Jeremy Hinson at 703-246-7825 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

You may also contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).

Fort Hunt, Va. -- Tom Fitzpatrick remembers a nervous Tarreece Sampson, 24, sitting down with him for an interview late last year.

Sampson wanted to be an educator, even though he had graduated from college with a marketing degree. Fitzpatrick said T.J., as he and other friends would call him, wasn’t a shoe in for the teacher’s assistant position but a phone call with a mentor changed his mind about Sampson.

“The person said he is amazing with the kids, the kids really love him,” said Fitzpatrick.

That’s just one reason hearing the news Friday that Sampson had been killed early that morning in a homicide at City Side Apartments off the Richmond Highway was so devastating.

“Knowing T.J. he may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time in order to help someone,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fairfax County Police are still investigating Sampson’s death as a homicide. They’ve provided no information about what he was doing in the parking lot so early in the morning but his longtime girlfriend has told other media outlets that she believes he was confronted people breaking into cars when he was killed.

Sampson had only been at Fort Hunt Elementary School since October 2015. In that time, he had helped second graders with their classwork but also acted as a mentor for other children in the school as well.

“He was showing the (older) girls how boys should treat them,” said Fitzpatrick in a move he called chivalrous. “I think he was trying to instill the in the boys how girls should expect to be treated.”

Fitzpatrick is also proud of the way teachers in the school took Sampson under their wings to help him learn the ropes of education.

“T.J. was mentoring the kids but the staff members were mentoring T.J. that was something I took a lot of pride in seeing,” said Fitzpatrick.

The principal said Sampson was preparing to begin a second degree at George Mason University to specialize helping special needs students.

“He would have been an amazing one, this is a huge loss for kids,” said Fitzpatrick.

On Monday, counselors were brought in to help kids cope and understand the loss.

“To get them to really remember the good things that me Sampson had done and have those good memories to leave a lasting impression,” said Fitzpatrick.