Criminal complaint: Portsmouth murder victim shot in front of his children

Ryheem Jasaun Hargrow Pugh was apprehended on Friday and accused of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission

According to a complaint obtained by WAVY-TV 10, a woman from Portsmouth, Virginia admitted to the police that she drove the person who shot the father of her children to the scene of the crime, which is considered a criminal act.

The victim, known as 34-year-old Rocco Nixon, passed away due to his wounds at the medical center.

Angel Peterson-Bryant is charged with accessory after the fact of murder second-degree and obstruction of justice (material false statements) in the case.

Police investigators in Portsmouth have arrested Jasaun Ryheem Pugh Hargrow, a 22-year-old, and charged him with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, they stated on Friday.

Angel Peterson-Bryant (Courtesy of Portsmouth City Jail)

The court documents outline the horror of what happened on Thursday morning in Portsmouth St. King at the daycare center, Gifted Minds Academy, where the mother of the children, Peterson-Bryant, admits to the shooter’s driving.

They were inside the vehicle right beside the location where their father was injured, and subsequently the mother departed the vicinity.

According to a reliable source from WAVY, it was confirmed that the individual, who was present at the establishment to settle their dues, was approached by the assailant. Nixon sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

The shooter is identified as Peterson-Bryant’s boyfriend in court documents, even though Portsmouth Police have not labeled him as a suspect currently.

The shooter and Peterson-Bryant arrive at the Day Care Center before Nixon arrives… According to the criminal complaint, once the victim arrives, the shooter leaves the vehicle (accompanied by Peterson-Bryant) and they rendezvous. The victim is shot at least twice during the incident, and the shooter fires additional shots while the victim is on the ground.

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According to reports, Peterson-Bryant left the location in her red Kia SUV and eventually made her way to Virginia Beach.

During her police interview, she allegedly stated that she did not encounter the assailant again. However, when investigators doubted the accuracy of her statement, she confessed to meeting him at a Virginia Beach motel, failing to contact emergency services, and neglecting to report the incident.

According to the court documents, the suspect deleted a conversation from her phone during questioning and examination of the device.

The criminal complaint states that Peterson-Bryant assisted the shooter following the shooting by accommodating them in a motel where it is likely that statements were made and plans were made before contacting the police.

The police announced her apprehension on Friday morning.

Nixon and Peterson-Bryant have two children together. WAVY News has confirmed, through court documents and a source, that both of them were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting. They are currently staying with family members and fortunately, they were not injured.

According to WAVY’s report on Thursday, there were no kids present in the Portsmouth daycare during the incident.

Seven markers of evidence were visible at the scene.

Image shows several evidence markers following a shooting on King St. in Portsmouth on June 1, 2023 (WAVY Photo – Andy Fox)

After the shooting Thursday morning, and on her way to work, Nedra Adamson stopped to render aid to shooting victim Rocco Nixon.

Adamson said, “I need assistance. Please help me. Can you call 911 for me? I’m on the ground.”

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Adamson remained, but the mother of Nixon’s offspring would depart the situation.

According to the criminal complaint, Peterson-Bryant informed the police that she “departed from the scene and subsequently traveled to Virginia Beach, where she did not have any further interactions with the assailant.”

In Virginia Beach, she made no effort to report the incident or dial emergency services, proceeded to a motel, and acknowledged during the police interview that she did indeed have a meeting with the assailant, as stated by investigators during questioning.

Peterson-Bryant was arrested. When Adamson saw the photograph, she recalled that face at the location.

“Yeah, I witnessed her,” expressed Adamson. “I simply believed she was someone out there endeavoring to lend a hand similar to us. However, she never provided aid. She remained at a distance near the tree in the yard… Took no action.”

Investigators interviewed the police during the examination and questioning of the suspect, asking her about the deleted text messages on her phone in the “Peterson-Bryant” case.

“According to the criminal complaint, Peterson Bryant assisted the perpetrator after the incident by staying together in a motel, where it is likely that conversations and plans were made before any interaction with law enforcement.”

The individual responsible for the shooting is mentioned in the complaint, but no charges have been filed against him yet.

For Adamson, assisting a person injured by a firearm was deeply personal. She tragically lost her son to a shooting incident.

Adamson stated, “I have experienced being in that situation when I tragically lost my son who was 14 years old.” “I believe it was the morally correct action to pause and offer assistance because that is the same support I received until I could return home,” he expressed.

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Peterson-Bryant remains incarcerated and declined to participate in an on-camera interview.

This is a progressing situation.

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