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Fleeing Murder Suspect Surrenders to Authorities During FaceTime Call: Sheriff

George Lee Pearson III via the Stafford County Sheriff's Office.

George Lee Pearson III

A 44-year-old Virginia man suspected in a fatal motel shooting is behind bars after he allegedly agreed to peacefully surrender during a FaceTime call that took place as police were in pursuit of his vehicle.

George Lee Pearson III was taken into custody on Sunday evening and charged with one count each of second-degree murder, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Sunday to calls about a possible shooting at the Red Roof Inn motel located in the 300 block of Warrenton Road in Fredericksburg. Upon arriving at the scene just minutes later, two deputies discovered a man in the motel’s parking lot suffering from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the chest, authorities said.

A third deputy arrived a short while later and joined the others in providing first-aid to the victim until EMS reached the scene. The victim was then transported to a local hospital.

Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving at the facility. Authorities said they would not release the name of the victim until his next of kin were notified about the shooting.

The suspected shooter allegedly fled the area following the shooting in a silver Toyota Tacoma. He was believed to still be in possession of a handgun.

Investigators said they quickly identified the suspect as Pearson and obtained his cell phone number. A member of the sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Team was then able to make contact with Pearson through a FaceTime video call. Responding law enforcement implored Pearson to pull his car over and surrender peacefully but he initially refused, instead indicating that “he would not be taken alive.”

Authorities broadcasted a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Pearson’s vehicle to other law enforcement agencies in Virginia and the surrounding states as investigators on the scene collected forensic evidence and obtained surveillance camera footage from the area.

The sheriff’s office said that Pearson was still on the FaceTime call with the crisis negotiator at approximately 11:30 a.m. when he stopped his vehicle on an exit ramp off of Interstate 95 in Hanover County and agreed to surrender peacefully to authorities.

Deputies with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police troopers responded to the location and took Pearson into custody, authorities said. Investigators claimed to recover a handgun during search of the suspect’s vehicle.

Though investigators did not disclose a possible motive for the shooting, the sheriff’s office said detectives had “determined that this was not a random act of violence.”

Following his arrest, Pearson was transported back to Stafford County where he was booked and processed at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He is currently being held without bond.

[image via Stafford County Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.