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After murder arrest, more charges for 20-year-old (Updated)

South Boston News
Tequan Watson, 20 / March 01, 2018

A South Boston 20-year-old is facing additional charges after being arrested for first degree murder in the Wednesday night shooting death of a 16-year-old male student.

Tequan Watson, 20, remains in jail in Halifax without bond after originally being charged with one count of murder and one count of malicious wounding following the Wednesday night incident on Sandy Beach Road. Police have now brought further charges against Watson alleging use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

According to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Watson and two other youths — a 16-year-old and 19-year-old — were riding together in a vehicle when they stopped at Sandy Beach Road, where an altercation broke out among the group, resulting in gunfire. The 16-year-old succumbed to his injuries while the 19-year-old, who was found by police on Philpott Highway (U.S. 58), suffered non-life threatening wounds. He was treated at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital and released.

While police have not divulged the identity of the slain youth, family members and friends took to social media this week to call for justice in the killing of Paul Jacob Damiano, 16. An obituary for the youth identifies him as a student at Halifax County High School. It appears at the top of this page.

A service for Paul Jacob Damiano was held Sunday at Powell Funeral Home.

The incident began around 11 p.m. Wednesday when the Sheriff’s Office, South Boston Police and Virginia State Police responded to a report of the shooting. On Thursday, deputies with the Sheriff’s Office and State Troopers searched a heavily wooded area near the scene and located a firearm that may have been used in the shooting. The weapon has been turned over to the state forensics science lab for a ballistic analysis.

The investigation into the shooting, led by Sheriff’s Captain M.A. Womack, is ongoing.

While Sheriff Fred Clark declined to confirm the identity of the deceased youth, citing a recent change in state law that bars law enforcement officers from providing such information, he said “from our understanding they [Womack and Damiano] have been friends for a while.” He did not offer any further information.

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