Suspect shot, killed in Newport News tactical situation had three hostages, police say

Credit: WAVY/Callen Clark

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A suspect who was shot and killed by police during a tactical situation Saturday was holding three people hostage — and shot one of them — according to Newport News police.

The suspect killed during the incident was identified Monday as 35-year-old Caleb “CJ” Jackson, Jr., of Newport News.

Newport News police were called to the Pondo Café around 4:50 a.m. for a report of a disorderly person inside the restaurant.

Suspect shot, killed in tactical situation in Newport News

Responding officers could not enter the restaurant because the doors and windows were locked. The officers heard gunfire from inside the restaurant at some point, according to police.

Police say emergency dispatchers made contact with an employee inside Pondo, and got information that three people were being held hostage by an armed man and that employee had already been shot.

Police say a NNPD Tactical Operations Unit was called to the scene, and was eventually able breach the doors of the restaurant. The suspect — later identified as Jackson — pointed a gun at one of the officers, before a 22-year Newport News police veteran shot and killed him.

An investigation later determined Jackson was armed with a loaded gun, police say.

Two of the people held hostage were not injured and were rescued by officers, police say. The person who was shot was taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition.

The officer who shot Jackson has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation and a ruling from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Police said Monday the officer has served with tactical operations for 20 years and is a highly regarded leader.

Police say he was also previously involved in a fatal shooting during a tactical situation, which was ruled justified by the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Newport News Police Chief Richard Myers said in a blog posted Tuesday that officer-involved shootings are “thankfully an uncommon event.

“However, we take such incidents very seriously and handle them with the utmost of care and concern, starting with the families of both the decedent and the officer(s) involved. We meticulously investigate both the criminal and the internal aspects of the incident, and forward the criminal investigation in its entirety to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for their prosecutorial review,” the blog reads in part.

10 On Your Side spoke to Jackson’s longtime girlfriend and his father Monday. Both say they were dumbfounded by the allegations. Tasharla Bishop told she did not know Jackson owned a gun, and had never heard of the Pondo Café until detectives knocked on her door. She said Jackson was a caring father of three.

Jackson’s father, Caleb Jackson, Sr. told his son was not a violent person.

“No way possible. He wasn’t a violent person. He was a family man. He was a family man.”

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has suspended the Pondo Café’s license to serve alcohol. The board said in its order of summary suspension that witnesses said alcohol was being served and consumed after 2:00 a.m. and before the officer-involved shooting happened. ABC also says a search of the business revealed a “partially burnt blunt lying on the bar with a smell consistent with marijuana.” The board says this was the third time a gun has been fired at Pondo since Feb. 27, 2016.

“Therefore, the board concludes that there exists a continuing threat to public safety and that temporary suspension of the licenses is justified to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public,” the board’s order reads.