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Mother, son dead in apparent murder-suicide in James City County

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JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Police say a mother shot and killed her 12-year-old son before turning the gun on herself inside the family’s home in Toano on Wednesday morning.
 
Police say Jenell Gallegos, 35, was “distraught, erratic and rambling” in a 911 call around 9:15 a.m. before putting the phone down and opening fire. The incident could be heard by dispatchers on the open 911 line.
 
“She was making several statements that were just kind of erratic and didn’t seem to make sense,” said Deputy Chief Steve Rubino.
 
When officers arrived to the home on Little Creek Dam Road they found Gallegos dead and her son, Noah, shot. The sixth grade student at Toano Middle School died on the way to the hospital.
 
Neighbors say they are in disbelief at any crime in the area, let alone a murder-suicide.

“Oh my God. I have a 10-year-old myself and I’m wondering why the child in school? What happened? Why?” said Lamika Meekins. “I pray for the family. It hurts me to have someone do that to their child.”
 
In recent days, police say Gallegos has reportedly been firing her gun outside on her property. It’s still unclear if the activity is tied to the violence in any way.  
 
Williamsburg-James City County Schools released a statement on Noah Gallegos Wednesday afternoon:

We are terribly saddened at the news of the death of one of our Toano Middle School students. The school has been notified and additional counseling staff is at the school. Later this afternoon, we will communicate with families and make them aware of resources available to students. As a school division, we will support the Toano Middle community through this heartbreaking tragedy and provide any resources that they may need.

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