Pankaj Bhasin, a 34-year-old man from New Jersey, has been charged with murder in Jackson’s death and is being held without bond. Police have not commented on a possible motive or any connection between the two men. Jackson’s family said they do not know if he knew the suspect.
Peter Greenspun, representing Bhasin, said he is looking into the man’s “mental health condition over the past several weeks.”
He added: “This matter is very difficult for all concerned, and Mr. Bhasin’s family expresses their sympathies to the victim and his family.”
The building’s landlord, who asked not to be named because he did not want publicity, said he saw a man run down the stairs and into a parked Mercedes, apparently owned by a stranger, that was at the curb. The car’s owner was putting money in a meter, the landlord said, and kept the door locked until police arrived.
The landlord said he then went upstairs to see what had happened and found Jackson dead, surrounded by blood.
“It wasn’t a pretty picture,” he said. “I can’t understand being that violent.”
Alexandria police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said Bhasin’s own car was behind the store and was later towed.
Jackson grew up in Pontiac, Mich., the oldest of six boys. He was his high school class president, his younger brother Chris Jackson said, and a protester against the war in Vietnam.
“We basically had a race riot going on, and we were all sitting on top of it,” Chris Jackson recalled.
When a bullet pierced the wall of Bradford Jackson’s room, he told only his father so as not to alarm the rest of the family. He then hung a picture to cover the hole, his brother said.
Jackson moved with his then-wife to the East Coast to focus on raising his son, his brother said, putting aside larger career ambitions and political activism. That son, Tyler, 24, is now a Marine.
“He was a hopeless romantic,” Chris Jackson said of his brother. “Like all good hopeless romantics, he died spectacularly and penniless.”