WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Families React to Deadly Shooting

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

June 19, 2006

Family and friends all agree that the double shooting that happened early Sunday morning is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved.

“Jermain Thurston's family is truly sorry over the death of Laymont Reaves,” said Michelle Washington, speaking on the Thurston family’s behalf.

Police said Thurston fired one shot early Sunday morning that killed Reaves, and then that one bullet hit Christina Cooper, an innocent bystander.

“Wrong place, wrong time, standing in the wrong place,” said Cynthia Cooper about her daughter Christina, the second victim in Sunday’s shooting.

Thurston's family says he's a good kid who didn't mean to shoot anyone. They say he was acting in self defense.

“He's never been in trouble a day in his life, he works, he's a quiet boy,” said Washington.

The 22-year-old has no prior criminal record

“I know right now that he is probably beside himself; he don't know what to do right now, and I know right now he is scared to death and he is not a criminal,” said Washington.

Thurston's family says it all started at a night club, that Reaves and his friends were following Thurston in a Lexus. They say they came at him with baseball bats and Thurston had to protect himself.

“He was fearful for his life,” said Washington.

The victim was a 21-year-old college senior; he wanted to be a teacher. His family had no comment except that it is important to cherish our loved ones.

Cynthia Cooper is one mother taking those words to heart.

“God saved her. God kept her from going away from here. Thank you Lord! I'm happy she's still here. hank you Lord, thank you Lord,” exclaimed Cooper.

Jermain Thurston’s mother is also cherishing her son right now. When we spoke with her she said she is so sorry for the Reave family, but knows had her son not defended himself she would be the mother burying a child right now.

Thurston is next scheduled to be in court in August.


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