News September 23, 2021 at 10:30 am

Singer preparing for a show to raise awareness on domestic violence fatally shot by son

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey September 23, 2021 at 10:30 am

September 23, 2021 at 10:30 am | News

21-year-old Elijah D. Smith is accused of fatally shooting his mother, Latoya Acree, 41 -- Left Photo via WTOP | Right Photo via Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office

A 21-year-old Virginia man has been charged in the deadly shooting of his mother after the two got into an alleged domestic argument on Friday. The deceased victim, identified as 41-year-old Latoya Acree, was a soul singer and a member of a local band by the name True Soul, NBC Washington reported.

The victim and her band members were preparing to perform at a domestic violence awareness show on Saturday prior to her death. Authorities said the fatal shooting occurred in the driveway of Acree’s Pondoley Drive residence, and she had a gunshot wound to her upper body when she was found. Attempts by responding medical officers to revive her proved futile.

Acree’s son, Elijah D. Smith, was later arrested in connection with her death after law enforcement officials traced him to a hotel not far from the crime scene. He has since been charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities said they were able to establish through preliminary investigations that Acree’s killing stemmed from “a domestic argument that occurred before the shooting between the mother and son.”

And though Pam Gallahan, the marketing director for the deceased singer’s band, told WTOP she was aware Acree occasionally had issues with her son, she said she did not think it would aggravate to that level.

“We were all devastated,” Gallahan said. “I knew she had problems, not to that level, nothing where I was worried for her safety or anything like that.”

Smith is currently in custody and has been denied bond. The accused man had been out on bond pending an assault and battery trial prior to the fatal shooting, NBC Washington reported.

Meanwhile, a bandmate who spoke to the news outlet shared fond memories of the deceased singer. “She was really, really happy,” Caesar Roy said. “Seemed like things were just turning around for her, and this happened.”

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