PALMYRA — A Fluvanna County woman was fighting for her life Wednesday and a man was dead in a shooting at a modest home in a sleepy rural neighborhood.
A passerby called 911 at 9:30 a.m. after seeing Crystal Trent, 28, slumped over in a patio chair on the front porch of her one-story home off Gravel Hill Road, police said. The caller saw Jerry Palmer, 41, lying in a mulch bed in the front yard.
Trent was shot once each in the head and chest and was unable to speak to police, said Lt. David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Department. She was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she was in critical condition. Palmer was killed by a gunshot to the head. A small child at home at the time of the shooting was unhurt, Wells said.
Police found a pistol in the front yard near Palmer’s body, Wells said. There were neither signs of forced entry into the home nor of a struggle inside, he said.
Wells said authorities were not seeking suspects but still were investigating to determine what happened.
“We don’t want to call it anything official,” until autopsies, interviews and evidence analysis are complete, he said.
Wells said Trent and Palmer had been in a romantic relationship, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether they were still together at the time of the shooting. He said he did not know whether they were living together or had previously.
The shooting happened after Trent dropped three of her children off at school, Wells said. A fourth child has not reached school age, Wells said. Palmer’s relationship to the children was unknown, he said.
Relatives were caring for the children, Wells said. Trent works for the state Department of Corrections, he said.