Latoya Acree, a 41-year-old singer in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, was found shot and killed outside her home on Friday. Medics were unable to save the soul singer’s life after police responded to a report of a shooting. They found her on the driveway with a gunshot wound to her upper body, NBC Washington reports.
Officers charged the artist’s son, 21-year-old Elijah D. Smith, with second-degree murder. The young man was identified as a suspect after he was found at a hotel nearby.
“There was a domestic argument that occurred before the shooting between the mother and son,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Acree, who was a member of a band known as True Soul, is remembered in the community for her powerful voice and her kindness.
“She’ll be remembered for her heart, just as much as her voice,” Pam Gallahan, the band’s marketing director, told WTOP.
9-18-2021–Spotsylvania man charged in mother’s shooting death outside their home https://t.co/dN7JnBX5xS#blackfemicideUSA
Latoya Acree, 41 pic.twitter.com/AuiIABLpqA
— Black Femicide – America (@blackfemicideUS) September 19, 2021
True Soul, which had been preparing for a show to raise awareness about domestic violence, will dedicate Saturday’s performance to the beloved artist.
“She befriended everyone she met. She was just a very genuine and good-hearted person,” Gallahan said.
Bandmate Caesar Roy said the 41-year-old struggled with confidence when she first started singing, but she eventually managed to overcome the challenges.
“She was really, really happy,” Roy said. “Seemed like things were just turning around for her, and this happened.”
The band is striving to stay positive despite the heartbreaking tragedy.
“Obviously God had a better plan, a bigger plan, for her to sing in,” Roy said.
Smith, who was held in jail without bond, is also awaiting trial on an assault and battery charge. According to WUSA9, Acree’s killing is among a series of shootings to take place in recent days in Spotsylvania.