Police: Security guard in deadly Chesapeake shooting asked about accuracy

Johnathan Cromwell (Photo: Chesapeake Sheriff's Office)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The security guard charged in the fatal shooting of a 60-year-old man in late-January was denied bond in a court hearing Monday morning. A judge said the seriousness of the charge and the violence of the crime prevented him from allowing bail.

Twenty-one-year-old Johnathan Cromwell is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen.

WAVY’s Matt Gregory reports the judge denied Cromwell bond Monday based on the violence of the crime.

Chen was fatally shot outside of the River Walk community’s clubhouse on Jan. 26. Responding officers found Chen inside of a minivan with multiple gunshot wounds.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney gave new details on what happened. Police said Cromwell stopped Chen who was in a mini-van. Chen backed up his van and Cromwell got out of his car and shouted, “Stop!” Then he apparently shot Chen through the driver’s side window. Next, Cromwell moved to the front of the van and shot at Chen six more times through the windshield, according to authorities. He hit Chen with four shots in the chest. Then minutes later, Cromwell reportedly asked a detective on scene how accurate was his shooting.

Jiansheng Chen (Family photo)
Jiansheng Chen (Family photo)

The 60-year-old died at the scene. Family members claim Chen did not speak any English and was playing Pokemon Go at the time.

A family attorney said Chen played the game as a way to keep up with his children and grandchildren.

A defense attorney has claimed that Cromwell, an employee of Citywide Protection Services, acted in self-defense when he shot Chen.

Cromwell’s father said Monday that his son has not been fired from the company. He told 10 On Your Side he is confident that his son acted in self defense. He said the family fully supports his son.

The community had a contract with Citywide when the shooting happened. A member of the community’s association confirmed last Wednesday that their contract with the firm had been ended.

Attorney Andrew Sacks, who represents Citywide, claimed Cromwell approached Chen while the 60-year-old was in an area he had been previously barred from.

Sacks said Chen did not stop and drove toward Cromwell, who attempted to get out of the way. Cromwell then fired his gun out of “fear for his life and safety” in an effort to “stop and repel the threat to his life and safety,” Sacks said in a statement Feb. 10.