PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A Petersburg family is mourning the loss of a young mother who was shot and killed inside the Artist Space Lofts on Friday.
Petersburg Police officers were called to the apartments along Perry Street just after 9 p.m. where they found 36-year-old Alicia Gray on the fourth floor with a gunshot wound.
Gray was transported to a nearby hospital but died shortly after. She is survived by her two children, ages 5 and 18.
“She was amazing. She always cared for people and was there for anyone who needed it,” said Corey Williams Jr., Gray’s oldest child. “I would go and just lay with her after a hard day at work.”
In an emotional interview with 8News, Williams recalled his favorite memories with his mother.
“A random text saying, ‘You’re the best son I could have,’ and I’d send ‘You’re the best mom I could have,'” he said.
The details surrounding the shooting are limited as the investigation continues. However, police did arrest Justin Rawlings, 36, at the scene and charged him with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Rawlings is the father of Gray’s youngest child.
Rawlings’ family told 8News that the shooting was accidental.
“Alicia went to his house to confront him. He was getting dressed. She picked up his gun. He tried to get it from her. It fell and went off and hit her in the chest,” said Candace Anderson, the suspect’s cousin. “That’s the story from him … His word of mouth.”
Petersburg police have not confirmed those details. However, the shooting did happen inside the suspect’s apartment. Police said Rawlings stayed at the scene and was arrested without incident.
“We’re hurt on both sides,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot.”
Rawlings is being held at Riverside Regional Jail pending a court appearance.
“They had their issues but at the end of the day, he loved her,” Anderson said.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family is trying to process this tragic loss.
Her son said he wants her to be remembered, “as the kindhearted person she was.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.