New Journal and Guide Staff
Nearly six weeks after the fatal incident, the Norfolk Police Department (NPD) has arrested a man in connection with the June 29 shooting death of Ali K. Muhammad, son of community activist Bilal Muhammad.
Jalen Garces, 28, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was taken into custody August 4 and is currently being held in Norfolk City Jail without bond.
Prior to the confirmation by police, various media outlets were contacted by the senior Muhammad, who revealed a break had happened in the case.
“They (NPD) had been working consistently to solve this senseless act of violence,” Muhammad told the GUIDE recently, shortly after the arrest. “So many people and organizations throughout the community supported the effort and were eager to see this resolved.”
Muhammad said that the motivation for the murder of his son has not been defined.
Balil Mahammad was on the phone with his son on the evening of June 29 when Ali was gunned down in front of his home on the 9600 block of 1st Bay St.
The senior Muhammad, a well known anti-gun violence activist, has worked to fight against that issue for decades and is the founder of the nonprofit Stop the Violence 757.
He said he lost his own brother to a bullet in 1982 when he was just 17.
“This is an example for these criminals, these murderers out here, that they will be captured because the city of Norfolk sees something and is going to do something,” he told the GUIDE, referring to the arrest.
Ali Muhammad left behind three daughters, ages 8, 7, and 3. He was on his way into work at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he worked the overnight shift, when he was killed.
“‘Will you take that gun out of my face’ – those were the last words I heard from my son,” Bilal Muhammad told the media in an interview after the tragedy. “Then the gunshot, pow! I’m still on the phone hoping that my son will respond.”
“I commend the investigators of the Norfolk Police Department for their hard work on this case. Thank you to the citizens who assisted by coming forward,” Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi said in a statement, “My continued condolences to Brother Bilal and his family.”
“What took place with our son – there are many other families right now that are there grieving [while the] murderer is still out there in the streets,” Bilal Muhammad said.