Danville teen at large after charged with murder in connection with Wednesday homicide, police say

Southside Virginia News

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Police in Danville are searching for a teenager — who is reportedly considered armed and dangerous — who is facing a murder charge in connection with the Wednesday afternoon homicide on Cabell Street.

According to the Danville Police Department, a citizen called 911 at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3 to report a man — later identified as 21-year-old Jaylan Fitzgerald of Pittsylvania County — lying in the 600 block of Cabell Street a gunshot wound.

After Fitzgerald died at the scene, police say they were met with community support and quickly developed 19-year-old Avion Burton of Danville as a suspect.   

The department says the investigation led to a house in the 300 block of Bell Drive, resulting in a heavy police presence.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house and called the SWAT team, but in order to execute that search warrant as safely as possible, police say they took a longer amount of time to knock, announce their presence, and call the occupants out of the house before the SWAT team entered.  

“We recognize the trauma that these incidents may cause to our community and we will hold HEART walks in both the Cabell Street and the Bell Drive neighborhoods this afternoon,” the Danville Police Department said in a statement on Thursday, Feb. 4.

According to officials, the evidence indicates Fitzgerald and Burton knew one another and that this homicide was not a random act.

As of Thursday morning, the department says Burton has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Fitzgerald’s death, but he is still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous.  

However, police say they do not believe Burton acted alone and will continue to investigate this homicide.

If you have any information on this case or Burton’s location, you are asked to call the Danville Police Department at (434) 793-0000 or use the department’s crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#.

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