A man arrested as result of a shooting described as road rage-related by a Wilkes Sheriff’s Office spokesman was still in the Wilkes County Jail Monday, but with an additional felony charge and a higher bond than initially set.
Alphonso Saladin Jones, 51, of Abington Court, Wilkesboro, was arrested at 11:30 p.m. Thursday on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle. His bond was set at $500,000 secured on those charges Thursday.
Jones was later also charged with possession of a firearm by convicted felon and his bond was increased to $525,000. According to a warrant, this charge resulted from Jones possessing a “small silver revolver” after pleading guilty to malicious shooting, a felony committed on Dec. 14, 2011, in South Richmond, Va. That shooting followed an argument, according to media reports at the time.
Chief Deputy David Carson said Jones didn’t resist when officers from the sheriff’s office arrested him at his apartment.
Jones is charged with firing into a vehicle driven by Gibson Carter Brondos, 18, of Wilkesboro. One bullet grazed Brondos’ upper right back. Brondos wasn’t seriously injured in the incident, which occurred about 7:30 p.m., Nov. 29.
“After an extensive investigation, detectives learned that the incident occurred from a road rage situation” in which Jones believed the Brondos vehicle was following too closely and had high beam headlights on him, said Carson.
“After the suspect vehicle stopped, the victim (Brondos) also stopped and asked if the suspect needed assistance. The suspect is believed to have then fired at least two shots at the victim’s vehicle, with at least one of those shots striking the victim.”
Carson said, “Good detective work and security video footage led to Jones being identified as a suspect and the charges against him.”
Brondos said in an interview last week that he was northbound in his car on Winkler Mill Road Extension near the entrance to the Kohl’s store on the night of Nov. 29 when he first noticed a four-door sedan immediately ahead of him going in the same direction. It was about 7:20 p.m.
He said the two cars were on Winkler Mill Road, still northbound, when the sedan slowed to about 30 mph in a 35-mph zone just after crossing U.S. 421.
Brondos said his car was close to the rear of the sedan when it slowed to about 30 mph but not close enough for a collision to occur if the car ahead suddenly stopped.
The driver of the car ahead of him “turned his hazard lights on near the entrance to Tractor Supply and gradually came to a complete stop, while still in his travel lane” before reaching the top of the hill on Winkler Mill Road, he said.
“He (driver of the sedan) then waved me by” with his hand out the driver’s side window while his car was stopped. “I made sure no one was coming and then pulled up beside him, rolling down the (front passenger side) window as I pulled up,” said Brondos, adding he was trying to check on the driver to see if he needed help.
“Before I had a chance to say anything, he said something like ‘bro’ or ‘man’ and then ‘what’s your problem?’ And then I saw the flash of a gun and felt it tighten on my right shoulder blade,” said Brondos.
The bullet grazed his back just below his right shoulder, leaving a place where the skin was broken (but not deeply) about three inches long and about an inch wide. The wound was about an inch from his spinal cord.
Lt. Logan Kerr of the sheriff’s office said a bullet recovered from where it was lodged in Brondos’ vehicle appears to be from a 9mm handgun.
Det. Jason Willis from the sheriff’s office is lead investigator on the case.