Thirty-three-year-old Virginia native Stuart Jeffries was fatally shot in front of his eight-year-old daughter during a custody exchange between him and his ex-wife, the deceased man’s family said. According to WRIC, the January 16 shooting happened at the Appomattox Police Station parking lot, and the suspected gunman was identified as the new boyfriend of Jeffries’ ex-wife.
Authorities said an off-duty police officer was at the police station’s parking lot when the shooting happened. The suspected gunman, identified as 44-year-old Corey D. Goodson Sr., was arrested at the scene. He has since been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in relation to the shooting.
“Two parties met to complete a child custody exchange in the parking lot at Appomattox Police Station,” a spokesperson for Chesterfield Police stated in an email to WTVR. “At the time of the exchange, an on-duty officer was working in his patrol vehicle in the station parking lot; the officer was facing away from where the custody exchange was occurring.”
In an interview with WRIC, the deceased father’s sister, Tai Jeffries, shared fond memories of her brother and said what happened was “unbelievable” and “unreal.”
“My brother was a loving dad, he was a loving brother, he was a loving son, all he wanted to do was work and take care of his child,” she said. “Now one child has no father.”
Tai Jeffries also said that it was very rare for Goodson to be present during a custody exchange between her late brother and his ex-wife. But the suspected gunman was with his girlfriend this time around.
“I just, I don’t get it,” she said, adding that her brother’s daughter was in the car at the time of the shooting. “That was my sanity. That was what kept me together. I feel so empty, I feel so lost. I feel so mad, I feel so sad,” Tai Jeffries said in reference to her brother. “It didn’t have to go this far. All he wanted was his child.”
The grieving sister also said her brother’s killing should serve as a lesson to others involved in such custody arrangements. “This is a story for everybody,” she said. “This is an example that things could go left, and it shouldn’t go this far. Make everything about the child. At this point, it’s not about how you feel, it’s not about whatever. It’s about the child.”