HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A woman is speaking out after a shooting in Hopewell left a close friend of hers dead.   

Police believe 46-year-old Charmel Dawn Mason was accidentally shot by her 19-year-old son on Saturday.  

Officers responded to the 2000 block of Danville Street at about 3:28 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. Police said they found a woman on the scene with a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as Charmel Dawn Mason, died at the scene. 

Her son, Benjamin Mason, was arrested, charged with reckless handling of a firearm and taken to Riverside Regional Jail. Now, close family friend Sarah Craig said she is still processing the news. 

“She was a good-hearted person, and she’d give you the shirt off her back if she had it,” Craig said about Dawn.

News of Dawn Mason’s death wasn’t something Craig was expecting to hear about. But what was even more shocking for her was to learn about the circumstances surrounding her friend’s death.   

“Her son had got a new gun. And, you know, when you get a new gun, you want to check things out on it,” Craig said. “Somehow through the process, it just ended up going off and it shot through the house. And unfortunately, it hit her and killed her.” 

Craig said that Dawn Mason’s son, Benjamin Mason, called her from jail to tell her what happened. 

“It’s been hard because it’s still like a shock. I had just talked to her last Wednesday and Thursday, and I never thought that’d be the last time I talked to her,” Craig said.

Photo: Cheyenne Pagan, 8News

Craig said she’s been friends with the Mason family for years, stating Dawn was pivotal in helping her through kidney dialysis treatment. She wants people to know how much of a tragic situation this has been for everyone involved.   

“This was an accident and nothing more,” Craig said. “People just need to forgive her son. It’s just something that couldn’t happen and people that didn’t know them can’t begin to understand the love that that family had for each other.” 

Craig told 8News that Benjamin Mason was released from jail on Tuesday and that Dawn Mason’s funeral service is on Friday.