by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dozens of people took part in an uptown march organized by the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council in response to two recent homicides.
Jacquece Forrest is charged with murder in the fatal shootings of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Smith, and her friend, Luc Gonzalez. The two were found dead in a home on Malibu Drive early Tuesday morning.
On Thursday afternoon, nearly 100 people gathered in uptown for the march. The Domestic Violence Advocacy Council said it was held to raise awareness that help is available, including programs and services offering safety planning.
Some of those who marched were co-workers with Smith and Gonzalez at Wells Fargo. The two were friends, and had recently started dating.
Smith’s friend Sheila Natt said she never recognized warning signs of domestic violence in Smith’s relationship with Forrest, although she knew both of them well.
“I logically know what domestic violence stands for. I think we all do. But I don't think you really pay attention or understand it until it hits home,” Natt said.
Many of those marching cried, telling Eyewitness News their message for Smith was one of sorrow and love.
“That was my friend. That was my sister, I used to call her my little sister,” Natt said.
The march came on the same day Channel 9 uncovered new details about the shootings in a search warrant filed by homicide detectives.
In court records, investigators said Forrest kicked his way into the home through a glass door, after apparently stalking Smith from her back yard.
Evidence crews discovered “leafy green substances” inside Smith’s house, just hours after she reported spotting Forrest hiding in the woods behind her room.
When officers made a traffic stop on Forrest after the shootings, the search warrant said police clearly saw a shotgun, allegedly used in the killings, sitting in plain view on his front seat.
After his arrest, authorities said Forrest was so upset he became sick and vomited in the back of a patrol car, according to court records. Forrest confessed to Smith’s death shortly after, according to police.