Man wanted in shooting arrested during traffic stop in Newport News

Jermel Smith (Photo: Newport News police)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News man wanted for shooting at a man in January was arrested after a traffic stop early Tuesday morning.

During a routine patrol around 1:21 a.m., officers spotted a blue Audi driving on 32nd Street with no front license plate. The driver pulled over, parked and started to get out of the vehicle.

Police spoke with the driver, who was later identified as 32-year-old Jermel Smith. He reportedly gave officers a different name while speaking to them.

Police say the officers told Jermel why he was pulled over and he started getting defensive, saying his ID was in the car.

The officer looked in the vehicle and saw a gun laying on the floorboard by the driver’s seat. Police could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Smith was detained and officers found a straw on him. The straw had a white, powdery substance on the tip. In the vehicle, police discovered a baggy with suspected marijuana in it, along with a digital scale and an ID that belonged to the person Smith had first claimed to be.

Smith was wanted for allegedly shooting at a man in January.

At 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 12, officers responded to a home in the 600 block of 33rd Street. A 65-year-old man told police he was inside his home when he heard a gunshot. He went outside to find a bullet hole in the driver side of his vehicle. The man reportedly saw another man arguing with someone, who police identified as Smith.

During the argument, Smith allegedly fired a shot toward the man. He then reportedly yelled something, got into his car and drove off.

Smith is facing gun and drug charges in relation to the traffic stop. Police had previously taken warrants out against him for brandishing a firearm, reckless handling of a firearm, malicious wounding and more.