Man found dead inside Norfolk home after fire; detectives arrest homicide suspect after chase

Posted at 8:52 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 09:25:10-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A man was arrested for murder and arson following a house fire in the Park Crescent neighborhood.

Crews responded to the 1400 block of Picadilly Street Tuesday morning around 8:20 a.m. When they entered the home, they found a man, identified as 30-year-old Demont A. Brooks, dead.

Fire officials said it was a "very small" fire that only produced a lot of smoke. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and called police.

Homicide detectives responded to the scene and determined that Brooks did not die from the fire. After further investigation, his death was classified as a homicide.

Brooks was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office to determine his exact cause of death.

The Norfolk Police Department said detectives arrested a suspect in the homicide after a chase in Chesapeake Tuesday afternoon.

Around 2:30 p.m., Norfolk Police Fugitive Investigators and U.S. Marshals spotted the homicide suspect, identified as 34-year-old Jamal A. Knowles, driving a car in Chesapeake traveling on Route 168.

Investigators attempted to stop the vehicle near the Hanbury Road exit, but Knowles sped away. The vehicle was travelling northbound when Knowles lost control, crossed over into the southbound lanes and struck a vehicle near the Mount Pleasant Road exit.

Knowles attempted to run away after the crash, but police were able to take him into custody.

Knowles and the driver of the other vehicle received non-life threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital for treatment. Chesapeake Police are still investigating the crash.

The fire's cause was determined to be arson.

This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Anyone who has information about this homicide is asked to call the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.

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