Camille Daniel said she has lost so much.
Her fiancé, 32-year-old Eric Montequilla Barksdale, died as she tried to keep him alive Saturday night outside their home at 1648 Rivermont Heights Road, near Martinsville. He had been shot by a teen-aged relative following an argument, she said, and now he was gone.
“I lost my support system. I lost my emotional support. I lost my backbone,” Daniel said Tuesday.
The teenager, identified by Daniel as Dominque Richardson, turned himself into the sheriff’s office on Tuesday and is being held in the W.W. Moore Jr. Juvenile Detention Home in Danville. He is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and misdemeanor reckless handling of a firearm, all felonies.
The sheriff’s office has not released his name because he is a juvenile, and Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester the juvenile will have a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, perhaps as early as Wednesday, about whether he will remain in detention or be released in the custody of the family.
“I am very pleased at efforts by the sheriff’s office, considering this happened on Saturday and the defendant is in custody Tuesday," Nester said. "I’m pleased with the swift action by the sheriff’s office. I’m glad the defendant is now in custody and the community is now safer.”
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said the homicide was “a senseless tragedy that occurred because a gun was brought into it.” He added that witnesses indicated “this was certainly something that could have been avoided.”
Perry said the weapon involved was a handgun, but he said he could not with certainty immediately provide other details.
Daniel said she and Barksdale were scheduled to be married on May 18, which would have been their seven-year anniversary of being together. They have two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.
“Eric was a wonderful man, a great father. He has been in their lives since Day 1,” Daniel said of Barksdale and their children.
Barksdale ran a recording studio from home for hip-hop, rhythm and blues, gospel and other genres of music, Daniel said. Barksdale also was a rap artist. He occasionally worked for temp agencies.
By working at home, Barksdale was able to help take care of the children, she said. She also works at home as an online marketer and has an online store.
In the aftermath of Barksdale’s death, Daniel said, “I’m left with nothing. The landlord wants me to move. I have to pay for the funeral by myself. I have two children by myself.
“I don’t have any help. I need help.”
At 10:54 p.m. last Saturday, the Martinsville-Henry County 9-1-1 center received a call about a person who had been shot at 1648 Rivermont Heights Road. Daniel said she called 9-1-1 after Barksdale told her too after he had been shot.
A search warrant by investigator R.M. Turner filed in Henry County Circuit Court identified witness accounts that the suspect in the shooting was Richardson.
Daniel said Tuesday that Richardson and Barksdale were second cousins and were close. She said Richardson’s brother died a few years ago. She said Barksdale tried to help Richardson and that they were about to do a video together.
“Eric helped raise that young man,” Daniel said.
Daniel said on Saturday Richardson and another person (whom a search warrant identified as Jerome Turner) were at their home.
After she had made dinner and the children had gone to bed, Barksdale asked Richardson and their friend to keep their voices down.
Daniel said Richardson began to argue with Barksdale and said, “I’m a grown-[expletive] man. You’re not going to shut me up.”
Daniel said Barksdale told Richardson that if he was finished eating to meet him outside if he wanted to prove he was grown.
Daniel said she figured the most that would happen would be Barksdale and Richardson wrestling.
“They’d get into it all the time. The most they’d do is wrestle,” Daniel said.
Daniel said she remained in the house when Barksdale and Richardson went outside.
“The next thing, I heard six shots,” she said.
She added her 4-year-old daughter was sitting on a couch and saw what happened.
She said her daughter said, “Dominique shot my daddy.”
Daniel said her daughter told her that Barksdale and Richardson were standing and facing each other when the shooting happened.
She said she later was told by the hospital that Barksdale was shot twice, in the middle of the chest and the left side of his chest.
Tracie Cooper, administrator of the state medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, said Tuesday the cause of death was gunshot wounds of chest and the manner of death was homicide.
After Barksdale had been shot, Daniel said he came around the back of the house, broke a window and said, “He shot me. Call the police.”
Daniel said that at one point after the shooting, she asked Richardson if he shot Barksdale, and that Richardson responded that Barksdale “wouldn’t get the [expletive] out of my face.”
Details written in the search warrant match Daniel's account of the events and trace blood around the house to the rear door. "Jerome Turner was at the residence when the altercation took place inside. He also stated that he was approximately 8 feet away from Barksdale and Richardson when he saw the fire come from Richardson’s hand,” the warrant stated.
Although Barksdale was transported to SOVAH Health and pronounced dead there, Daniel said she believes Barksdale died on the front porch of their home in her hands.
She said she called 9-1-1 and followed their instructions, including doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Barksdale until the ambulance and deputies arrived maybe 10 minutes later.
Daniel said while she was doing CPR on him, Barksdale told her, “I can’t breathe.”
"I need you to breathe,” she said.
On Saturday, Barksdale will be buried Saturday following a funeral at Mount Sinai Apostle Church of Christ in God in Martinsville.
On Sunday, Richardson will turn 18.