SUFFOLK, Va. - The man initially charged in the Oct. 2021 double shooting in a Suffolk shopping center parking lot is no longer facing charges.
Prosecutors moved to withdraw all charges during a hearing in Suffolk General District Court on April 21, 2022.
They filed eight felony counts against Darius A. Jones, 35, of Suffolk after two men were shot in the in the 1200 block of White Marsh Road around 3:12 p.m. on the day of the incident.
Jones' attorney, Kurt Gilchrist, told News 3 the withdrawal of the charges was a result of a witness failing to come to court on multiple occasions.
A spokesperson for the Suffolk Police Department told us no other suspects are being sought in connection with the shooting.
Under Virginia law, charges that are nolle prossed can be re-filed if more evidence comes to light.
The two men were Traven Charvez Jackson, age 28 of Suffolk and Henry Christopher Walkup, Jr., age 33 of Windsor. Following medical assessment and treatment at the scene, both men were taken to a hospital with possible life-threatening injuries.
Both remain hospitalized with Jackson listed in fair condition and Walkup listed in good condition.
After the shooting, police issued warrants for Jones for Firearm: Possess by Felon (Nonviolent w/in 10 Yr), 2 counts of Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Discharge Firearm In or Around School, Shoot or Throw Missiles at Occupied Vehicles, 2 counts of Assault: Shoot, Stab, Etc. in Commission of a Felony, and Reckless Handling of a Firearm Causing Serious Injury.
Officials arrested Jones on November 5, 2021, on eight outstanding warrants.
The harrowing scene played out in front of the E-Z Mart Food & Deli.
First responders can be heard on scanner radio saying, “Call for a shooting, 1226 White Marsh Road. E-Z Food Mart and Deli.”
Manager Adnan Awadallah said he was working at the cash register when he heard several gunshots ring out just after 3 p.m.
“We look outside,” he said. “I see a man in a hoodie, and I just hear multiple shots go off on the car.”
The manager then ducked under the counter for cover.
“After the second or third shot, it registered like, 'Oh shoot - that's gunshots,' so I just dropped down,” Awadallah said.
Over the scanner radio, first responders said, "Ten-four, all units responding to a shooting... possibly two patients… a gunshot wound to one subject at the back.”
Investigators swarmed the parking lot collecting evidence to find out what led up to the shooting.
Witnesses tell News 3 it happened as the two men were sitting inside their white SUV that was left riddled with several bullet holes and blown out windows.
One store employee said her car was parked next to the SUV. She was working inside the E-Z Mart as gunshots came through her front windshield.
“The bullet went in here and it damaged that,” she said pointing to her steering wheel.
Minutes later, Awadallah said the men ran inside the store for help.
“He goes, ‘Ah, man. I'm shot; I'm shot.’ He lays down on the floor, and I asked him, ‘Do you need anything? Can I help you out?’”
The owner called 911 as Awadallah kept them calm until police came. He said the one man was shot several times in the back.
“It was crazy, like, everything is in the moment,” he said. “I still don't think it for real registered with me.”
Wallace Johnson, who manages the shopping center, said the area has had issues with crime in the past.
“We've had some issues over here,” said Johnson. “Several years back when the Food Lion store was here, we had some issues, but it's always been people that had come over here to do it. Basically, what happened over here today would have happened anywhere."
Johnson said he works with police to ensure the shopping center is safe.
“What happened over here today had nothing to do with the shopping center, nor did it have anything to do with the store,” he said. “I want people to feel safe coming over here.”
The E-Z Mart Food & Deli closed for a few hours during the investigation.
Awadallah is grateful no one else got hurt.
“Thankfully, everyone here is OK,” he said.
Police reviewed surveillance video from the deli.