Local News

Teen Accused of Killing Mother Shoots, Kills Self

Posted March 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A 19-year-old who was about to be charged in connection with his mother's death fatally shot himself Wednesday night as police tried to get him to surrender peacefully.

Jonathan Crowell Thompson, whom police say shot his mother, 44-year-old Cassandra Mitchell, killed himself inside a friend's house on Brentwood Road as police waited outside with a warrant for his arrest.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, police said they had been in touch with Thompson and that he seemed to be very agitated. Later, he told police he would surrender, and his last words to them were "I'm coming out." Instead, police said, a shot was heard moments later and his body was found in a bedroom. Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene after the 8:15 p.m. shooting.

Mitchell's body had been found Tuesday, after officials obtained a search warrant for her home in the Lake Park subdivision in North Raleigh, near Shelley Lake.

According to the search warrant, Mrs. Mitchell had asked that her son be charged with credit card fraud. It is thought she was murdered shortly after Thompson was arrested March 3 in regard to the credit card use. He had posted bond at 1:41 a.m. the next day and had been released.

Mitchell had been reported missing by her brother-in-law on Saturday; her car was found abandoned Sunday at North Hills Mall. Her body was found in her home two days later. It is unclear why her body was not discovered until three days after she was reported missing.

Mitchell was a graduate student in education at N.C. State University. She was last seen alive March 3.

She was planning to rejoin her second husband, James Mitchell, in a new home in California. He was already living and working in Santa Rosa, and her other son from her first marriage, 16-year-old Russell Thompson, was living with Mitchell on the West Coast. She would have moved west after finishing the course work for her doctorate.

Mitchell's friends said she planned to counsel families of children with disabilities, and that she had also done extensive AIDS hotline work.

Jonathan Thompson was a Sanderson High School dropout, who had been charged with various crimes in the past, including robbery, drugs and breaking and entering.

One neighbor told WRAL-TV5 reporter Mark Roberts that Jonathan Thompson had once broken into her house. Other neighbors, including Jim Meyer, said there was no outward evidence of trouble in the family.

Her widower and younger son have joined her mother, who lives in Raleigh. Her first husband lives in South Carolina.