Murdered sailor's mom waits for killer to be taken off streets


by Brian Farrell

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 11:30 PM

CHESAPEAKE -- Donna Solomon remembers vividly how she found out she was pregnant with her son, Chris.

"The doctor says, 'Well, have a seat,' and I say, 'No. I'm gonna keep standing. I know what it is. I know it's a tumor,'" recalls Solomon. "He said, 'Sit down. This tumor is gonna come out, and you're gonna have to raise it for the next 18 years.'"

Solomon enjoyed those 18 years, sharing a few more with Chris Bailey before someone killed the 22-year-old Navy psychiatric technician in June of 2009.

"The first thing I did when I walked into the hospital was tell him to wake up," says Solomon, beginning to cry. "I told him, 'Please, baby, please wake up.'"

Solomon, who lives in Idaho, explains Bailey had gone to a friend's home in Chesapeake to give him a couple hundred dollars. The friend recently had become a father, and he was out of work.

After giving him the money, Bailey and his friend walked out of the home on Kemet Road to Bailey's car. He wanted to give his friend a Bible. As they stood at the car, talking, at least three people came up to them and tried to rob them, one of the people armed with a rifle.

Left with only $13 on him, some of which he needed for gas money, Bailey offered them $5. The person with the rifle fired a shot between Bailey's feet. He managed to push the gun away and make it to his car as his friend had.

"My son got in the driver's side, started the car, pushed the foot on the pedal, and the car stalled on him," Solomon tells 13News. "This boy went and took the .22 rifle and shot through the window, hit my son in the back of the neck, and my son leaned his head onto the steering wheel, and the last thing he did was cry."

Solomon adds, "His friend held him and called the police with the bloodied cell phone that my son had on him."

Bailey's mom remembers him as a determined child who grew into a remarkable person. His duties at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth often had him working with fellow service members who returned from the Middle East.

Solomon explains that police have had some indication who the people are who were responsible for the robbery and shooting, but have not had the information they need to make an arrest. While a group may have been part of the crimes, Solomon is most anxious about the person who fired the shot.

"He has already killed one person, which means there's no going back. It means that, unfortunately, he has nothing else to lose," notes Solomon. "Once he's put away, there's nothing he can do, but, right now, he can. He can hurt your sister. He can hit your child. He can hurt your little baby brother that's only three months old, 'cause he has no regard for life."

If you have information that could help Chesapeake police make an arrest, you can call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

In addition to the reward offered through Crime Line (as much as $1,000), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service offers a reward of as much as $4,000.