NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A string of violent scenes unfolded across Norfolk late Friday night. When it came to an end, three people were dead, including Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones.
During a Saturday morning news conference, Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith explained the timeline of the tragedy, which began around 10:48 p.m. That’s when emergency communications received many 911 calls about shots fired in the area.
Chief Goldsmith says 29-year-old James Brown was firing a gun at vehicles in the 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard, from behind the wheel of the Jeep he was driving. One of the bullets struck and killed 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez, who was inside his car.
“Mr. Rodriguez was in a vehicle. Mr. Brown was in a vehicle. Mr. Brown was randomly shooting from his vehicle and Mr. Rodriguez was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” explained Chief Goldsmith.
Officer Brian Jones spotted Brown’s unattended Jeep in the 7400 block of Wellington Road. Officer Curtis Allison, who was off-duty at the time, responded to assist Officer Jones. As both officers were assessing the situation, Brown began firing a high-powered rifle from inside his home. Chief Goldsmith says Officer Jones was hit several times. Officer Allison was also wounded.
The officers were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Officer Jones passed away early Saturday morning. Officer Allison was treated and released.
After the Wellington Road shooting, Chief Goldsmith says Brown fled in his vehicle. Another officer spotted him speeding northbound on Galveston Avenue, then down E. Little Creek Rd. where he hit a vehicle. Brown exited his vehicle after the crash with gun in hand and refused to comply with the officer. Brown fought with and tried to disarm the officer. The officer fired his weapon, fatally wounding Brown.
The entire police department family is mourning the loss of 35-year-old Brian Jones. He leaves behind a wife, 2 young sons and a young daughter.
“As the Chief, my heart goes out to his family, my heart goes out to the people who worked with him. You know, I’m a cop, just like everybody else is. So this hurts, when one of us go, especially in the line of duty like this,” said Chief Goldsmith.
Officer Jones was a member of the Norfolk Honor Guard and was assigned to the Traffic Unit, Crime Prevention Unit and Third Patrol Division.
Police are still trying to piece together the entire course of events, which involves multiple scenes and numerous witnesses. Anyone with information that could help detectives is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Stay with WAVY.com and WAVY News 10 on the air for updates on this developing story.