HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A local business owner in Henrico County saw the suspect in a deadly shooting on UVA’s campus just hours before he was taken into custody Monday morning.
Nowell Jinnette, owner of Acors & Griffith in eastern Henrico, said Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., now accused of killing three and wounding two others late Sunday night, walked right through his business Monday morning — just a block away from where he was arrested hours later.
“I was sitting here this morning getting everybody out for their daily rounds and I was looking out the window,” Jinnette said. “I saw a young man coming up across the driveway, real close to the building.”
At the time, though Jinnette had heard about the shooting, he hadn’t seen a photo of Jones, and didn’t recognize him. It was only hours later that Jinnette realized who the stranger had been, after a worker in the office texted him a photo of Jones.
“When I saw the picture I kinda just glanced at it, and go, ‘Man, I’m glad they got him,'” Jinnette said. “And then about thirty minutes later I looked at the picture again and went, ‘That’s the guy that just walked by the shop!'”
He said that around 8:15 a.m. — about two hours before Jones was arrested by Henrico Police — Jones walked around the building, trying to see through the office’s darkened windows and peering into the company trucks parked outside. But after just a few minutes, he turned around and left.
“He didn’t pick this spot to hide at, cause there ain’t nowhere to hide here,” Jinnette said. “He was coming to see somebody or somebody had a way out for him.”
“Just let’s you know how small the world is, when somebody an hour and a half away can be standing in your building,” he added.