By James Tatter,
One day after being shot in an episode of domestic violence, 2011 R.J. Reynolds High School graduate Danielle Jameison improved from critical condition to stable condition and was receiving visits from friends and family at Moses Cone Hospital.
Jameison was injured in a shooting in Greensboro on Monday morning that killed two people: her mother, Sandra Lyn Palmer, and Jameison’s 14-year-old brother, Maurice Edmonds II. Jameison, who is 18 years old, and Maurice Eugene Edmonds – Palmer’s long-term boyfriend and the father of the younger Edmonds – were wounded. Edmonds left the family’s townhouse in search of help before collapsing in the driveway. His condition also improved to stable.
Greensboro police announced Tuesday that Palmer – the mother – was the sole shooter in the incident.
As news of the event spread around the Reynolds campus, all thoughts were with Jameison. She seemed to excel at everything she did while at Reynolds. She was a star track runner and was also voted Most Intelligent by her classmates as a senior.
“She was always on top of things, in school and at track,” said Will Foster, one of her classmates and teammates during her time at Reynolds. “Danielle was always a great student in the hardest classes you could take.”
On the track, she managed to set school records in both the 4×800 relay and the 1600. Her record mile-time was later broken by one of her teammates and close friends, Chandler Borton.
“She never had any hard feelings (about her record being broken),” Borton said. “She was just always supportive.”
Danielle was well-loved during her time at Reynolds, with Foster calling her “the most innocent person this could have happened to.”
Terry Hines, a senior at Reynolds and friend of Jameison, called her a jovial person.
“She always knew how to make people smile,” said Hines, adding that he was shocked by the news and in tears when he heard about the incident. “We were like siblings.”
Jameison’s friends are there to support her during her recovery. Many students are planning to visit her in the hospital if they are allowed.
“She has brought so much light to our lives and we should all support her while she is struggling,” Borton said.
The Reynolds indoor track team donned purple ribbons for its meet Tuesday evening in support of Jameison and other victims of domestic violence. As tragic as news of her shooting was, the details surrounding the event only added to the sorrow.
In a news release, Greensboro police stated that a family dispute preceded the shooting before 8 a.m. Monday. Police said Palmer used mace on the elder Edmonds and then fired multiple gunshots at her children. The elder Edmonds was shot as he struggled for control of the gun and fled. Palmer then moved to a different room in the house and fatally shot herself.
Reynolds Director of Student Services Nicole Beale and guidance counselor Lisa Lara visited Moses Cone on Tuesday but were not able to see Jameison due to restrictions on visitors. They talked to friends and family members of Jameison during their visit.
“We went for the potential of seeing her and also for former students who might be showing up to visit her,” Beale said. “The situation is just stressful on everybody, but they were happy to be able to see her. There are just so many questions and they’re trying to process that.”
Just as Jameison’s classmates remembered her fondly Tuesday, so too did RJR teachers and staff members.
“She was voted ‘Most Intelligent,’ but she could’ve been very easily voted ‘Most Outgoing,’ ” Beale said. “She has a smile that lights up a room.”
Beale wanted current and former Reynolds students to know that counselors were available in this time of need: “See a guidance counselor if you need to talk. We’re very much available,” Beale said. “And any former students still in town for college break are definitely welcome.”
Jameison currently is registered as a student at UNC Chapel Hill. According to school officials, she has been on the Dean’s List each semester and already has enough credits in her major of Psychology and Romance Languages/Hispanic Linguistics that she is classified as a junior. Classes for the spring semester at UNC begin Wednesday, a date Jameison obviously will miss.
Friends are hopeful that Jameison will be able to recover both mentally and physically.
As Borton said: “Danielle has so many more people to bless and lives to touch.”