Drug Dispute Sparks Fatal Stabbing
Police say an argument over illegal narcotics preceded the fatal stabbing of Jermaine Samuel last night on Pelham Street
The victim in last night's murder on Pelham Street was involved in a dispute over illegal drugs just before being fatally stabbed, police say. Police have arrested one suspect in connection with the murder, and have identified the victim as 33-year-old Jermaine Samuel, a 1996 graduate of James Monroe High School.
The suspect will be identified once he is officially charged, police say. Charges are expected to be officially filed sometime this morning, according to Fredericksburg Police spokesperson Natatia Bledsoe.
The stabbing occurred sometime during a fight which occurred near the intersection of Pelham and Charles streets at around 11:20 a.m. Initially, police feared that Samuel may have been shot, with 911 dispatchers warning responding units from the Fredericksburg fire and police departments that the incident was reported as a possible shooting. But police say that those initial reports were incorrect.
Upon arriving on the scene, Samuel was discovered slumped on the pavement near the side of the road next to a black pickup truck on Pelham Street. He was pronounced dead by fire and rescue personnell on the scene.
Samuel had been living at the Colonial Hotel nearby on Princess Anne Street for at least three weeks, hotel owner Usman Javed said.
Javed described him as an excellent tenant.
"He always paid on time, very mild mannered, I've never even heard him talk loudly to anyone," said the owner. "And then I found out he got into a fight with somebody…it's very sad."
Javed said that Samuel had paid off two days of back rent earlier in the evening and was going outside to meet someone immediately prior to the incident.
Dozens of city and state police officers flooded the area to secure the scene and search for the suspect. Police deployed dogs to try and track down suspects and other evidence, and officers roamed the streets on foot and in their vehicles scanning yards, alleys and homes for signs of the attackers.
As the investigation wore on, more than two dozen family and friends gathered at the scene to mourn. Anguished cries of despair occasionally filled the air as each learned the tragic news. At one point, a man had to be held back by police as he learned of the death.
The suspect was arrested early this morning after being aprehended in the Fredericksburg Shopping Center on Jefferson Davis Highway across from James Monroe High School.A resident and distant relative of the victim who lives in the immediate vicinity of the incident says that he heard shouting in the street around the time of the murder.
"It sounded like some kids were playing up and down the street," said the resident, who did not want to be identified.
Another resident who lives around the corner described hearing a sound like someone being thrown against a car repeatedly, along with shouting, around the time of the incident.
Another homeowner whose property is the closest to where Samuel was discovered reported that he didn't hear anything at all until he was woken up by the lights and commotion of police and emergency personnel on the scene.
This is a developing story, stay with Fredericksburg Patch for more updates as new information is uncovered.