NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Police say a man is dead after a shooting in the East End Tuesday evening. Investigators think he may have been shot because was doing a favor for a stranger.
Holly McPherson with the NNPD said several 911 calls came in to emergency dispatchers about the shooting around 5:20 p.m. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a vehicle had crashed into a fence in front of a home in the 600 block of 33rd Street. The driver, a Newport News man, had been shot.
He was taken to a local hospital by medics and pronounced dead minutes before 6 p.m. He has been identified as 79-year-old Clinton Stonewall Jackson, Sr. of Newport News.
A witness told 10 On Your Side Jackson was driving west down 33rd Street, then down the sidewalk before clipping the corner of a parked vehicle and crashing into a chain link fence at a residence where he used to live. It appears he was driving to a place he knew, possibly seeking help.
A witness, who is also Jackson’s friend, approached the car and saw he had been shot in the head. The witness said Jackson was alive, but not communicating.
Investigators believe Jackson drove his vehicle at least two blocks after he was shot.
WAVY.com has learned there is a surveillance picture of a passenger in the vehicle with Jackson, and at some point, the passenger was seen running from the car. However, investigators believe the passenger exited the vehicle before the car came to rest on 33rd street. Police say they have reason to believe Jackson was shot by someone who was at one time in the car with him.
Doing a kind favor of giving someone a ride may have cost Jackson his life.
“Don’t pick up strangers. You don’t pick up strangers,” said Patricia Liggins, Jackson’s daughter.
Jackson was a 25-year member of Goodwill Baptist Church in Hampton. He was a deacon of the church, and his favorite Psalm was chapter 23: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. For though art with me, they rod and they staff they comfort me,” said fellow Deacon Joe Anderson. “What we need right now is comfort … to extend that to his family because they need that comfort right now.”
At her home, Liggins looked at a picture of her parents taken after their friendly divorce.
“I looked at that picture this morning. I thought how proud I am that they were my parents,” she told WAVY.com. “I couldn’t ask for better parents. He is in my heart and in my spirit. I know God is going to fix it.”
Through tears, Jackson’s niece, Connie, gave this plea: “Please, if you know something, please call police. This hurts real bad. If anybody knows anything, please, please come forward. They don’t know what they took away from us.”
There is currently no suspect or motive information, but detectives are investigating the incident as a homicide.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).