Prosecutors have brought murder and hate crime charges against two white suspects in the shooting death of a Black Navy veteran at a California gas station last week.
Jeremy Wayne Jones and Christina Lyn Garner were arrested and charged with first-degree murder for killing Justin Peoples, a 30-year-old veteran, youth minister, and father of two sons aged 11 and 2, in Tracy, California, located in San Joaquin County just south of Sacramento. A third person was brought in as an accessory to the killing, NBC News reported.
On March 15, Peoples and his girlfriend went to a Chevron gas station to get quarters for laundry, his father, Maurice Peoples, told the outlet. His girlfriend, who'd stayed behind in the car, said that when Justin entered the gas station, the suspects went in after.
Jones and Garner shot and stabbed Peoples multiple times, before fleeing the scene, authorities said. The father of two was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
"He had the heart of a lion to survive, but he just didn't make it," Maurice Peoples told the outlet. He said that his son was working two jobs and planning to buy a home one day.
It's unclear if there was a confrontation before the killing, but prosecutors have brought hate crime charges against Jones and Garner, submitting photos of "white power" and swastika tattoos belonging to one of the suspects. The two have also reportedly been linked to a local neo-Nazi group.
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