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Two Deputies Dead in Salvage Yard Shooting Rampage

Two Deputies Dead in Salvage Yard Shooting Rampage

A gunman opened fire on sheriff's deputies responding to a robbery call at a rural salvage yard on Sunday, killing two and injuring two others before being killed in a shootout, Virginia State Police said. [AP]

Associated Press

March 14, 2011

VANSANT, Va. — A small southwestern Virginia community is again dealing with a deadly shooting rampage that this time killed two deputies and wounded two more before the suspect who may have been trying to rob a salvage yard was fatally shot by police.

Buchanan County deputies investigating at Roger’s Service Center in Vansant on Sunday afternoon were met by gunfire from long range, Virginia State Police said. Two were hit and died at the scene. Two others who arrived also were shot, said State Police Sgt. Steve Lowe.

One deputy has life-threatening injuries and the other was in serious condition, state police said. No names were released late Sunday.

Christina Stiltner lives across the street from the salvage yard in the southwestern Virginia area and had just walked into her home with her 10-year-old son when she heard “pow, pow, pow.”

She opened her front door and saw one deputy run into a neighbor’s yard. She heard another “pow” and the deputy went down. He was one of the injured, she said.

“It scares you so much,” she said. “I sat there thinking ’what’s the number to 911’? It shocked me so badly, I didn’t know the number to 911.”

Residents said such violence is rare in the rural area of about 1,000 people, though in January 2002, a student opened fire on the Appalachian School of Law campus in Grundy just down the road from Vansant after learning he had flunked out of school.

The school’s dean, a professor and a student were killed in the attack. Three other students were wounded. The shooter, Peter Odighizuwa, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

“This is a laid-back community. Everybody knows everybody,” said Tivis O’Quinn, 68, who has lived in Vansant for 40 years and operates a business less than a mile from the salvage yard. “Nothing like this ever takes place, except for the law school shooting.”

Police did not release what sort of weapon was used, but Lowe said the suspect shot from long range. The owner of the salvage yard told police his business was being robbed and he had blocked the suspect’s vehicle with his own.

After the shooting, the search was on for the suspect. State police and other officers found him about two hours later and after “some sort of engagement” they shot and killed him, Lowe said.

“I’m not sure what the confrontation was when they encountered him,” Lowe said. “Apparently he was identified as the right person.”

Lowe said he didn’t know if the man fired on police, or if he was armed at the time.

Stiltner said she knew all the deputies involved in the attack because they would often stop by the gas station and restaurant where she works.

Stiltner said she wasn’t allowed to return to her home seven hours after the shootings ended. Several other residents were out of their homes late Sunday.

Vansant is a former coal mining town in the mountainous region of southwestern Virginia. O’Quinn said the community experiences “little petty thefts now and then,” but nothing like what occurred Sunday.

On display in O’Quinn’s office was a 2011 calendar of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department. The photo features the department’s 47 members, including Foster and 24 uniformed deputies.

Buchanan County Sheriff Ray Foster called the shooting “one of a kind” for his department but declined to say anymore.

According to the website The Officer Down Memorial Page, the last Buchanan County sheriff to die in the line of duty was in 1975 of a heart attack. The website lists four on-duty deaths for the department since 1905. The last by gunfire was in 1964.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    RIP

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 3 years ago

    50896 Comments

    Rest in Peace brothers. Prayers for a full and speedy recovery to the two deputies injured.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    over 3 years ago

    23592 Comments

    May these Deputies Rest In Peace, prayers of comfort go out to their families.

  • Mwg_-_copy_max50

    nracfi

    over 3 years ago

    96 Comments

    RIP Brothers, your watch is done!

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 3 years ago

    3806 Comments

    RIP Deputies and prayers for a full recovery to the 2 that are fighting for their lives...Sickening situation is all I can say..

  • Greg_and_gregory_reduced_for_email_in_hcso_uniform_max50

    gregfgani

    over 3 years ago

    52 Comments

    God Bless you and Your families. RIP Brothers!!

  • Cpu_2010_max50

    Kinder_mapp

    over 3 years ago

    4160 Comments

    RIP Brothers. How said that we are dying in multiples now. This has got to stop.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50

    36TR

    over 3 years ago

    7638 Comments

    Rest in Peace, Deputies!!! Prayers for a full and speedy recovery to the two wounded!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bigflax925

    over 3 years ago

    96 Comments

    RIP, brothers.

  • Dolphins_fantasy_max50

    dolphinblue

    over 3 years ago

    42984 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Img_0091_max50

    Dutch101

    over 3 years ago

    1654 Comments

    Rest in peace brothers.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    over 3 years ago

    10982 Comments

    RIP brothers. It seems like open season on LEOs. What in the H---ll is going on out there ?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    RIP, BROTHERS

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    fnmurphy

    over 3 years ago

    234 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Az_phx_motorcade1a_max50

    Bury

    over 3 years ago

    1342 Comments

    God speed brothers ....

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