The Dinwiddie County deputy accused of shooting and killing his brother over the weekend was described by a neighbor Monday as “a wonderful officer” who recently became a father.
Terrell L. Coles, 24, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Brandon D. Coles Jr., 25. He is being held without bond in the Meherrin River Regional Jail.
The shooting happened about 3 a.m. Sunday during an altercation between the brothers at Terrell Coles’ home in the 15700 block of Allen Drive, according to Virginia State Police, which is leading the investigation.
Terrell Coles’ presence brought a sense of security to the community of single-story homes not far from Interstate 85, said the neighbor, who did not want to be identified.
“With him there, I feel so safe here,” said the neighbor, adding that Coles shared the home with his girlfriend and newborn daughter.
The shooting is bewildering, the neighbor said, because the brothers were partying together at Terrell Coles’ home Saturday night into Sunday.
“I don’t know what transpired that night,” the neighbor said. “He’s probably protecting his family. That’s the only thing I can think of.
“They are not bad guys,” the neighbor added.
Terrell Coles became a deputy on June 30, 2012, the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday.
Sheriff D.T. “Duck” Adams, who asked state police to lead the investigation, called the shooting “a loss all the way around.”
Law enforcement runs in the Coles family. The brothers’ father is a Virginia State Police trooper assigned to the Richmond area, state police confirmed Monday.
Terrell Coles had no record before Sunday’s shooting, according to his arrest report.
Brandon Coles Jr. was awaiting trial on charges of misdemeanor assault and auto theft in Petersburg, online court documents show.