Arrest may offer small peace

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nearly a year to the day after it happened, the investigation into the murder of John Price Jr. may finally be nearing a solution.

Wednesday, police arrested 19-year-old Christopher Jonta Artis in connection with the July 8 murder. After months of investigation, Artis finds himself behind bars and Price’s family may have found a small amount of peace.

Price worked as a carrier for the Virginian-Pilot, and although the Pilot and the News-Herald are competitors in a very aggressive media market, we stood beside their staff in mourning the loss of Mr. Price.

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We not only were upset over his tragic death because he worked in the same industry as we do, but we mourned with his friends and family because his life was taken far too early and for no apparent reason whatsoever.

In the stories we published following the shooting, his family and friends recalled Price as “a good Christian man who worked hard trying to make a living,” and as a man who “always took care of his family.”

His wife of seven years, Lola, said Price worked multiple jobs in order to provide for his family and to make ends meet.

His death, which came while he was delivering newspapers along Brewer Avenue, may not have been for money, as he was apparently not carrying much with him. He was only trying to serve his employer’s customers and make a life for himself and his family.

His vehicle was left running, but his life ended facedown in the street.

Price may have had a checkered past, but his family and many friends will remember his hard work, dedication and new life he was living.

If Artis is found guilty of this senseless shooting, then our only hope is that he will once and for all answer the question that Price’s friends and family need to have resolved — “Why?”