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Orange gunshot victim was ‘sweet child’

Ten-year-old George “Bubbie” Toombs, who was killed Sunday night at his home in rural Orange County, was a “sweet child” with a lot of friends, the principal at his school said Wednesday.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies responding to the house on Matthews Mill Road just after 11 p.m. Sunday found the boy dead of an apparent gunshot wound.

Billy Joe Lee, 37, who neighbors say was living at the home as the boyfriend of the boy’s mother, was charged with child endangerment, felony child abuse and neglect, shooting in the commission of a felony and discharging a firearm in the dwelling house with the death of an individual.

Lee was denied bond at a hearing Tuesday, and is being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail. He faces another bond hearing April 21.

The boy’s mother, Tina Marie Toombs, 36, was charged with felony child abuse and neglect and was released on a $5,000 bond Tuesday. Her preliminary hearing is set for May 5.

The Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office have refused to release additional details on the shooting, citing an “ongoing criminal investigation.”

The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported that during Lee’s bond hearing Tuesday, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Clarissa Berry told the court that Lee is suspected of shooting the boy, and that authorities “do not believe that the child is the only victim.” The paper said Berry declined to elaborate afterward.

Jewell Williams, principal of Lightfoot Elementary School, where Toombs was a fourth-grader, remembered Toombs as a “sweet child and a good, studious student who really had a lot of friends here.”

A crisis intervention team gave students at the elementary school a chance Wednesday to express their thoughts and emotions through words or drawings, Williams explained. The students had “a lot of nice words to say about him, and really miss him,” she said.

Dan McFarland: