Former neighbor shocked by murder charge against East Washington native

July 15, 2014
Christopher Skaggs

As news reached Washington about an area native who allegedly killed his wife in Richlands, N.C., friends and family near and far are trying to figure out what went wrong.

On Tuesday, former neighbor and family friend Bill Cameron of East Washington said he was “devastated” when he learned that the little blond-haired boy who grew up next door had reportedly shot and killed his wife Sunday. Cameron said Christopher M. Skaggs, 32, who grew up on McKennan Avenue, was a great kid who grew up in a loving family.

“I was shocked, absolutely shocked,” Cameron said of learning about Jordan Skaggs’ murder. “We are devastated by this news and are so worried about his parents, Susan and Gary,” who no longer live in this area.

Police were called to the couple’s home about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, after reports of a woman being shot. When officers arrived, they found Jordan Skaggs, 31, with several gunshots to her chest. A gun was recovered from the scene.

Investigative reports obtained by The Onslow Times in Jacksonville, N.C., allege Christopher Skaggs went into a rage, got his handgun and shot his wife.

According to The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., Jordan Skaggs was at a neighbor’s home swimming with the family’s three children prior to the incident. Jordan Skaggs returned to her home, where an argument ensued.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown told the couple had been married for six years, and there was a history of abuse.

A neighbor told police the children witnessed the murder before running to a nearby home. The Daily News reported after hearing the gunshots, neighbors rushed to the house, where they found Christopher Skaggs with a gun. The shooting reportedly occurred in the backyard of the home.

Cameron said the children were relatively young, but he did not know their ages. He said two of the children were from Jordan Skaggs’ previous marriage.

The Skaggs’ neighbors told The Daily News Jordan Skaggs was a wonderful woman who loved her children.

Cameron said he hasn’t seen Christopher Skaggs since Skaggs left for the Marines. Skaggs enlisted in the Marine Corps March 29, 2006, as an infantryman, and was promoted to sergeant Jan. 1, 2012, according to The Onslow Times.

He was assigned as a staff member at the School of Infantry-East at Camp Geiger at New River Air Station, and was working in the logistics section of the Infantry Training Battalion.

Since 2006, Cameron said Skaggs served three tours overseas, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

The Onslow Times reported Skaggs was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom twice – first from April 13, 2007, to November 8, 2007, and then from October 6, 2008, to April 13, 2009. He was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from August 27, 2010, to May 5, 2011.

Cameron said he got updates about Christopher Skaggs “now and then.”

“The last thing I heard was that they were doing really well,” Cameron said. “I know marriages have ups and downs. Maybe the tours took a toll on his psyche.”

The Daily News reported that Onslow County Social Services took custody of the couple’s children.

The shooting remains under investigation. Christopher Skaggs was charged with murder and is being held in the Onslow County jail without bond.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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