GREENSBORO — The slaying of a young family member in 1990 prompted one local woman to join the fight against crime in the city.
Early Tuesday, an altercation that led to gunfire killed her. Police have no suspects in the death of 47-year-old Jacqueline Rene Thompson.
Her death, the city’s 33rd killing this year, leaves a void in her family and the stop the violence movement in Greensboro.
Mary Farrington, Thompson’s mother, said her daughter was a fun-loving person who was always trying to help people out.
She found out that her daughter had been killed when her granddaughter called at 4 a.m.
“It’s unbelievable,” Farrington said at her home Tuesday evening. “My granddaughter called me and she said, ‘They killed my mother.’ ”
Thompson was one of three people shot within a two-hour time frame late Monday into Tuesday. Police have not identified the other two victims and said the three shootings did not appear related.
Thompson was shot inside a house at 625 E. Gate City Blvd. She arrived at Moses Cone Hospital in an unknown vehicle about 1 a.m. and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Family members did not know why she was at that house that night.
Under a large, shady tree in the front yard of the family’s home on Coventry Woods Court, Farrington fought back tears. Her only remaining child, Stefanie Thompson, and granddaughter Jessica Thompson flanked her, remembering a smile they will now only see in pictures and memory.
Jessica Thompson, 23, was at work when she took a break about 4 a.m. She recently started the job with Proctor & Gamble and is still in training. As soon as she sat down, her mother’s friend called her.
He said her mother had been shot and didn’t make it.
Jessica Thompson called Farrington and then ran to tell her supervisor what happened. She rushed to the hospital.
Someone there told Jessica Thompson that her mother’s last words were, “I love y’all.”
“I just want to know why and who did it,” she said.
An altercation took place at the address where Thompson was killed but police don’t know what it was about, said Capt. Nathaniel Davis, the commander of the Greensboro Police Department’s criminal investigations division. He said they are also uncertain how Thompson and the person who drove her to the hospital knew each other.
“We’re very confident our victim knew who was responsible for this,” Davis said.
It was the slaying of a young relative that drew Thompson into the stop the violence movement in Greensboro.
Stefanie Thompson, 44, said her sister was inspired to join the movement shortly after their cousin was killed in 1990. Seven-year-old Shalonda Poole was found raped and strangled.
Donald Preston Ferguson pleaded guilty in 2014 to first-degree murder and first-degree sex offense in the killing. He was spared the death penalty.
The sisters had talked a week ago when they met at Jessica Thompson’s workplace, the Hyatt Place hotel. Jacqueline Thompson had just left the Walmart store nearby on West Wendover Avenue and stopped to visit with her sister. The goodbye hug was the last moment the sisters shared.
“She cared about the community,” Stefanie Thompson said. “Anytime she could do something in the movement, she did.”
Sherman Moore, a community activist in Greensboro, had worked with Thompson for about 15 years fighting against the city’s violence. He is a former high school classmate of her daughter, Jessica.
Moore said Thompson was all about fighting against black-on-black crime, addressing social injustice involving the police and focusing on empowering women. It wasn’t uncommon to find her walking in an anti-violence march or standing on a street corner with a sign urging people to stop killing each other.
Moore took to Facebook on Tuesday after he found out about her death, sharing pictures of Thompson holding up a cardboard sign exhorting people to “stop the violence.”
He and Thompson’s family are looking for answers about who killed her, Moore said.
“Everybody is in shock,” he said. “Who would’ve thought it would be her?”
Moore said he and other community activists are planning a peace march for Friday. He is hoping to have it downtown but no plans have been solidified.
The latest slaying is a reason for police, pastors and politicians to join against violence, he said.
“We need to come together for a better Greensboro,” Moore said.
Farrington said she last spoke with her daughter a week ago. The two talked about Thompson’s friend who is battling cancer. She told Thompson to do all she could for her friend.
“It’s hard to believe we won’t see her anymore,” Farrington said of her daughter. “Sad to say she died alone with no one with her.”