The teenager who was shot and killed March 8 after allegedly pulling a gun on Spotsylvania County deputies appears to have moved frequently in recent years.
The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office described 16-year-old Jamil Omar Harvey as a runaway from New Jersey, but it seems he lived in the county’s Holleybrooke subdivision off Smith Station Road and attended Courtland High School sometime last year.
The teen’s obituary stated that he was living in Virginia Beach at the time of his death. His maternal grandparents live in Virginia Beach, and his paternal grandmother is from New Jersey, according to property records. He went to Virginia Beach City Public Schools from August 2006 until January 2016 and last attended an alternative school there, a schools spokeswoman said.
It’s unclear when or for how long he lived in New Jersey, but authorities said he was entered into a national database March 3 as a runaway from the state.
The Sheriff’s Office has not publicly released Jamil Harvey’s name, but court documents list him as the teenager who was fatally shot by a deputy. A spokesman for the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond said the teen died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” but declined to say exactly how many times he was shot.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation of the officer-involved shooting. No deputies were injured during the altercation.
A Holleybrooke resident said she thinks she saw the teen waiting for the school bus several times in December. Jamil Harvey’s stepfather and mother moved into a home in the neighborhood early last year, according to online property records.
A Courtland High School student told The Free Lance–Star that Jamil Harvey attended the Spotsylvania school for at least two months late last year. Harvey had been to a couple of the football team’s weight-lifting sessions, but the student said he had not seen him since December. A Spotsylvania schools spokeswoman did not immediately reply to an email seeking information on the teen’s enrollment.
A man who identified himself as Jamil Harvey’s father declined to comment over the telephone. “It’s a private matter,” said the man, who is apparently the teenager’s stepfather. “We’re … still trying to wrap our heads around this. Once we’re ready to reach out and speak, then we’ll do it.”
Jamil Harvey’s biological father, Hassan Harvey, is serving two life sentences following his conviction in 2014 of killing a traveling salesman in Norfolk. Prior to that conviction, he had been in and out of court for failing to pay child support.
The Sheriff’s Office had obtained multiple charges against Jamil Harvey, including two counts of grand larceny of a firearm, two counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and grand larceny of a vehicle.
Court documents state that deputies went to a Salem Fields townhouse in search of Jamil Harvey after finding a 2006 BMW and a 2008 Volkswagen Passat, both of which the teenager was accused of stealing. A search warrant also identified the teen as a suspect in two drive-by shootings earlier this month at a home on Cedar Post Lane in Holleybrooke.
Deputies received permission to search the Salem Fields townhouse on Tangible Court and found the suspect in an upstairs bedroom, where they “went to detain him,” according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Spotsylvania Circuit Court.
“It was at that time that Jamil Harvey reached for a gun and was shot by a deputy,” the affidavit added. The Sheriff’s Office has not explained the teen’s connection to the townhouse or why he was in Spotsylvania at the time.
A Sheriff’s Office news release last week described the shooting in more detail, stating that the teenager “grabbed the gun and motioned toward the officers.” Preliminary findings indicate that the juvenile exchanged gunfire with a deputy, the release added.
The deputies were not wearing body cameras, which the Sheriff’s Office is in the “process of procuring,” Lt. Charles Carey said. The Board of Supervisors voted last month to approve the purchase of 90 body cameras at a cost of $113,600, with the Sheriff’s Office stating that denying the cameras would “result in a lack of transparency.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help with Jamil Harvey’s funeral costs had raised more than $6,100 as of Thursday afternoon. A post on the page did not mention the circumstances of his death other than to say he was “suddenly and tragically taken from all of us.” The post states he would have turned 17 on March 23.
Jamil Harvey called his mother to say “I love you” a few hours before his death, the post says.
“He leaves behind a multitude of loving family and friends who made every effort to nurture, provide and protect him,” the post states. “We prepare for a lot of seemingly meaningful things in life, but truthfully, a parent cannot fathom preparing for an unexpected loss of a child.”