Newport News Police say man took hostages before officer killed him

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 17:37:03-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - An armed man was holding three people hostage before an officer shot and killed the man, police said Monday.

Caleb "CJ" Jackson, Jr. was killed early Saturday morning inside the Pondo Cafe on Jefferson Avenue. Officers got a call just before 5 a.m. Saturday. When they first arrived, the doors to the cafe were locked, so the Tactical Operations Unit was called into the scene.

CJ Jackson. Provided by girlfriend

Officers were talking to one of the hostages on the phone during the incident, according to police. That hostage, an employee, was shot before police made entry to the restaurant. The two others were not hurt.

Eventually, officers heard more gunshots and decided to make entry into the restaurant. Inside, officers say Jackson pointed a gun at an officer and the officer shot and killed Jackson.

On Monday, Jackson's family questioned whether the lethal force was necessary. "He didn't deserve to be shot like a dog," said Caleb Jackson, Sr., the father. "It is a very tough time. It hasn't caught up with me." The family says the events police described are totally out of character of Jackson.

Jackson's girlfriend said she last spoke to him on Friday night. He told her he was going to be right back, but he never came home. The couple had three children. "I gotta find a way to tell my kids that their dad is not coming back. That is ridiculous and hard," she said.

The family said they are meeting with police on Monday to get more information.

Police Chief Richard Myers released a statement about the incident:

We deeply regret that it was necessary to use lethal force in this incident and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Caleb Jackson, Jr.  It is never an easy decision for any police officer to make.  We pledge a thorough and objective investigation that will be submitted to the Commonwealth’s Attorney's Office for final review.

This incident began with the serious wounding by gunshot of an employee at the business, who provided ongoing statements to the Department via telephone.  There were strong indications that this wounded victim was going into medical distress, and further delays in linking him to emergency medical treatment could have cost him his life.  By all indications, the Newport News Police personnel from dispatch to patrol to our Tactical response team acted with professionalism, courage, and putting their safety at risk to save a life.  While we must await the outcome of the investigation, the preliminary information we have gives me pride in the work of these men and women.

The officer who shot Jackson is a 22-year veteran of the department. He is on paid administrative leave as the Commonwealth's Attorney reviews the case.