Ex-girlfriend shot bus driver in the back in murder-suicide, cops say
WASHINGTON TWP. — A corrections officer shot her ex-boyfriend in the back before shooting herself as police tried to apprehend her on Tuesday afternoon, authorities reported Wednesday.
Ryon C. Reynolds (Submitted photo)
Piacenta M. Jackson, 44, of Woodbury, drove to an NJ Transit bus garage in Washington Township, Gloucester County, on Tuesday afternoon and killed bus driver Ryon C. Reynolds, 45, of Sicklerville. The shooting occurred around 1:30 p.m. in a parking lot as Reynolds arrived for work. The pair had dated, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed, but the relationship had recently ended.
Deptford police spotted Jackson’s car soon after the shooting and officers from Deptford and Mantua tried to stop the vehicle. Jackson pulled into a restaurant parking lot off Center and Trenton streets in Mantua, got out of her car and shot herself, officials said. She died of a gunshot wound to the head.
“She personally and legally owned” the gun she used in Tuesday’s shootings, the prosecutor’s office reported. Jackson worked at Southern State Correctional Facility in Cumberland County and was employed with the state Department of Corrections for nearly 14 years.
She also served with the Army National Guard, attaining the rank of staff sergeant, according to a spokesman with the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. She joined in 1998 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. During that deployment, she served as a personnel specialist in human resources, offering support services for other service members. The deployment lasted about 6 months.
Piacenta M. Jackson shakes hands with Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth before she boards a plane for her deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. (N.J. National Guard)
Reynolds worked for NJ Transit for 2 years and drove routes 551 and 400, according to NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder. She declined to talk about the shooting or security measures at the garage, noting that the investigation is ongoing. Reynolds’ colleagues were stunned by Tuesday’s events.
“We are all deeply saddened and grieving,” said Ray Greaves, state chairman of the Amalgamated Transit Unit, which represents bus drivers. “Our members are very close. The operators spend a lot of time together. We are here to support them.”
Fellow NJ Transit driver Terinthus Lloyd trained with Reynolds when they both joined the agency in 2015 and remembered him as a popular man with a great sense of humor.
“He was very funny and, when we were in training, everyone knew him,” Lloyd said. Reynolds was also a supportive classmate who noticed that Lloyd was a quick learner.
“You should really be an instructor,” Lloyd recalled Reynolds telling him one day.
Reynold’s aunt, Rose Reynolds, described her nephew as a hard worker and “a great guy.”
“Ryon was the best,” she said. “Everybody loved him.”
The prosecutor’s office, Washington Township and Mantua Township police departments, and NJ Transit Police are continuing to investigate the shootings.
Matt Gray may be reached at
- ^ WASHINGTON TWP. (nj.com)
- ^ shot her ex-boyfriend in the back before shooting herself (www.nj.com)