Suspect in Custody in Deadly Shooting

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari
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March 14, 2006

A man is dead and Charlottesville police are investigating whether the crime could have been committed in self-defense. Police say a man was shot and killed in front of a house on 6th Street SW on Tuesday morning. A suspect is now in custody.

18-year-old Gerald Washington was shot multiple times. The deadly shooting happened in front of his mother's eyes. She screamed “My baby, my baby is dead. Lord Jesus help me!”

At the sound of guns shots neighbors ran outside.

“I heard three shots,” said Janet Wicks who lives across the street.

“Jamel was on the telephone. He was holding a gun in his hand and...I guess he was calling police,” said neighbor Ray Taylor describing the scene.

Jamel Ross called 911 and turned himself in to police when they arrived at the scene of the homicide on 6th Street SW.

Neighbors say the victim was leasing a room from the shooter and that they were fighting over money but say they'd never expect this kind of violence from either of them.

“The only time he'd really fight was when he had to defend himself you know," said Jonathan Wright, the victim’s best friend.

Taylor added that Ross never bothered anyone and never looked for any trouble.

Charlottesville police are investigating whether the crime could have been committed in self-defense.

“We learned early on in our investigation that perhaps there may have been issues of self-defense and so we're looking into what those facts or circumstances are,” Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said commenting on the investigation.

Eight shell casings were found at the scene and a hand gun was also recovered. No word if all shots were fired from one gun but a second weapon was not found at the scene.

“I'm just sorry that it had to happen to [Jamel],"said Taylor.

No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing. It is unclear how many shots hit Washington, but he was shot multiple times, including the neck and the head. He was seriously injured when police arrived at the scene.

This is the city's first homicide this year.

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