WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Performance days are usually cheerful at the Hannah Block Second Street Stage. But a young man's murder late Thursday night while leaving the theater left a lingering feeling of loss this afternoon.
19-year-old Joshua Todd Proutey was shot and killed leaving work at the theater Thursday night. Today, the Thalian Association Children's Theater went ahead with its performance to honor his memory.
They say the show must go on, but never has it been more difficult for the group.
"It was 'wrong place at the wrong time,' and it was a shame. It was shocking to all of us," said artistic director Jason Aycock. "It's tough. It's tough when you have to deal with that. But we are standing together."
In spite of their grief, the children went ahead with their performance of The Hobbit Sunday afternoon. They hope to send a message to the community.
"If we stop performing because of something like this, it's letting the bad guys win, honestly," said Aycock.
The group is also rallying together to support Proutey's family. "We're having raffles," said Aycock, "and all of the money raised will go to Josh's family."
Despite its dedication to pushing forward in honor of Proutey, the group admits the healing process is only just beginning. "We are continuing on and we are remembering Josh as much as we can," said Aycock. "Every time we come in, that's the way it's going to be from here on out."
Detectives are still investigating Proutey's murder. Anyone with information is asked to call Wilmington Police.