Suspect captured in homeless shelter director's fatal shooting

Suspect captured in Scott County Homeless Shelter director's fatal shooting

Posted: Updated:
The shelter opened in 2009. The shelter opened in 2009.
Josiah Samuel Jones (source: Cleburne County Sheriff's Office) Josiah Samuel Jones (source: Cleburne County Sheriff's Office)
Gerald Voiles Gerald Voiles

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - Authorities say the man accused of the fatal shooting Tuesday of the executive director of the Scott County Homeless Shelter and food bank has been captured.

The shooting of Gerald "Jerry" Voiles, 58, with a shotgun was reported around 8:30 a.m. at the shelter on Jeffers Road.

The suspect is identified as Josiah Samuel Jones, 29, of Helenwood. Investigators say they have not identified the motive for the shooting.

Witnesses saw Jones with the shotgun, said he never spoke, and reported seeing him leave the scene slowly in a white Ford pickup truck belonging to another person. That truck was later found at Jones' father's home, along with a shotgun.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says it was reported that Jones admitted to his father he "killed a man this morning." His bond on Tuesday's warrants is set at $1 million.

The TBI put Jones on its top 10 most wanted list. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening in Helfin, Alabama over 250 miles away from Scott County. Authorities say he was arrested after a routine traffic stop.

The sheriff's office says Jones will be charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Jones was convicted in 2008 of a felony involving a deadly weapon in Scott County. He also has a criminal history that dates back to 2002 and includes drug possession, theft, probation violation, vandalism, aggravated assault, DUI and false reporting.

There were two people staying at the shelter at the time of the shooting. The shelter was closed Tuesday.

The food panty is normally open each Tuesday, but it remained closed. Organizers say they hope to open it again next week.

"He was the driving force behind the homeless shelter, and that developed into the food pantry," said shelter volunteer John Slader. "It is going to be very hard to find any individual who is able and willing to sacrifice the way Jerry did to do this job and keep this organization up and running."

Voiles opened the homeless shelter in 2009. The food pantry opened a few months ago. His sister, Debbie Wulfeck, said he had some rough times, but after he found the Lord and asked what he should do, he started the shelter.

"I'm really in shock right now," said Wulfeck. "I don't believe this has happened. I can't believe I won't ever see my brother again."

The TBI is helping the Scott County Sheriff's Office with the case.

Jones signed extradition papers and officers will take him back to Tennessee to face charges.

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