On a dark and desolate stretch of Stony Point Road, police found a 37-year-old woman dead from gunshots Wednesday night. The killing of Sabrina Elizabeth Jenkins of Orange is the seventh slaying from gunfire in Charlottesville-Albemarle since September, a grim toll that’s nearly double the number of homicides that typically occur over an entire year.
Albemarle County Police said in a release that officers were dispatched at 9:32 p.m. Wednesday for a report of an unconscious person inside a vehicle in the roadway in the 5200 block of Stony Point Road.
This stretch of highway, also known as U.S. Route 20, lies a little over three miles south of the village of Barboursville. A rural area, this block contains little evidence of human activity: a few houses, a gravel area by a farm gate, a planned development called Southwind Estates, and a horse farm. A reporter found only one resident present Thursday, a woman who declined to be interviewed because, she said, she slept through the prior evening’s commotion.
The only trace of the prior night’s police presence that kept the road closed for several hours were the cinders from burned flares placed on the roadway to alert motorists of the blockade.
The Albemarle County Police report that they brought in the Criminal Investigations Division to investigate what they are treating as a homicide, and they claim that this is an isolated incident “with no larger threat to the public.”
This marks the year’s second death along this road. On Oct. 25, police were summoned to 2110 Stony Point Road where they found the body of 53-year-old author and arts promoter Matthew S. Farrell. He was found in his own bed shot once in the back of the head. A woman who lived with him has been charged with second-degree murder.
The death of Jenkins was revealed on the first day of winter after a particularly bloody autumn. In addition to the seven homicides since September, local police report 14 injuries from gunshots during this same time period.
The most recent gunfire injury was a female shot Monday evening on North Berkshire Road, a residential street in the Emmet Street/Hydraulic Road area. The injured person was transported to the University of Virginia medical center following the 5:45 p.m. event.
About half of the people recently injured from gunfire have been juveniles, but Charlottesville Police have declined to specify whether the female shot on Berkshire or the male shot Sunday morning on 14th Street were adults or minors.
“This language is used to protect the victim, their loved ones, and maintain the integrity of the investigation,” wrote Charlottesville Police spokesperson Kyle Ervin in a recent text.