Woman whose boyfriend was killed by stray bullet: ‘Then I saw him take a deep breath and that was it’

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-27 18:27:07-04

Norfolk, Va. - The love of her life, 52-year old Jerry Lee, died in her arms. Now Leah Patterson is hoping someone will take action and come forward with information on who killed him.

"I was screaming, I was saying, 'Don't leave me, everything is going to be okay, just hold on, just hold on.' Then I saw him take a deep breath and that was it," Patterson said.

It happened back on April 10th.  Patterson says she and Lee went to visit her sister's house on Whitaker Lane. She says the family was outside socializing when she went into use the restroom. She took only three steps inside the house when she heard what she thought was fireworks. It turns out they were gunshots.

"I just heard so many gunshots, at least ten. Later, I was told there was about 16 shots that were fired. They were fired in a totally different direction than Jerry," Patterson said. "The bullet that hit him, I was told, it hit a main artery. We were thinking one ricocheted from somewhere and hit him."

Patterson quickly found out the man she dreamed of marrying was dead.

"I just don't know how I'm going to go day by day dealing with this," Patterson said. "He wasn't doing anything. He wasn't bothering anybody and he was gone that fast."

Norfolk Police say they do have a lot of leads in the case but not enough people are coming forward to help make the arrest. That's why Patterson is making this plea.

"I just want someone to come forward and identify this person. I know it wasn't intentional but put the guns away. An innocent bystander was hit," she added.

If you have any information on who fired the bullet that killed Jerry Lee, take action against crime and call the CrimeLine at 1(888) LOCK-U-UP.