Danville police searching for ‘armed and dangerous’ 19-year-old murder suspect

Police have charged Avion Burton with second-degree murder

UPDATE (Thursday, 10:12 a.m.)

DANVILLE, Va. - Danville police are searching for the 19-year-old man they believe shot and killed someone Wednesday afternoon.

Avion Burton, of Danville, is considered armed and dangerous by police and is wanted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the deadly shooting of 21-year-old Jaylan Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald’s body was found in the 600 block of Cabell Street.

Police credit community support for how they quickly identified Burton as a suspect.

Their investigation led to a house in the 300 block of Bell Drive, about 3 miles away from where Fitzgerald’s body was found.

Police said they obtained a search warrant for the house and called the SWAT team to make entry.

In order to execute that search warrant in the safest manner for all those involved, police said they took an extended amount of time to knock and announce their presence, as well as call the occupants out of the house before the SWAT team entered.

Evidence indicates Fitzgerald and Burton knew one another and this was not a random act, according to police.

Police do not believe Burton acted alone and said the investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at 434-793-0000 or use our crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#.

In recognizing the trauma this caused to the community, police plan to hold HEART walks in both the Cabell Street and the Bell Drive neighborhoods on Thursday afternoon.

HEART is an acronym. It stands for Heal and Engage After Recent Trauma.

This is a program the police department started in 2019.

Officers go to neighborhoods where homicides happen the day after the homicide and talk to people.

The goal is to try to help residents heal so there’s no retaliation or future violence.


ORIGINAL STORY -- 21-year-old man found shot, killed Wednesday afternoon in Danville

A 21-year-old Pittsylvania County man is dead after a shooting in Danville on Wednesday afternoon.

At about 3:15 p.m., someone called 911 to alert authorities about a man, who appeared to have been shot, lying in the 600 block of Cabell Street.

When police and EMS arrived, they found the victim, Jaylan Fitzgerald, had already died and that his injuries were consistent with having been shot, according to the Danville Police Department.

“So we’ve had a robust response and we’ve canvassed the neighborhood; we’ve collected some evidence from the scene although I can’t go into details of what exactly that is,” Danville Police Department Captain Richard Chivvis said. “At this time we don’t have any suspect information to release but our investigators are actively running down some leads and some information right now.”

Investigators are now canvassing the neighborhood and collecting evidence from the scene at the time.

Police do not have any suspect information to release at this time.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at 434-793-0000 or use our crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#.


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