Random Shootings Close 64

A 20-mile stretch of Route 64 was closed for hours early this morning after four apparently random shootings. Two people were injured (not severely) and four vehicles were shot, all close to the overpass on the C’ville side of the mountain. Traffic was diverted along 250 until just a few hours ago, and schools opened two hours late are closed. Local and state law enforcement responded with helicopters and K9 units. State police are leading up the investigation. If there are any suspects, or if anybody’s been caught, there’s no word.

Given that the overpass exists solely to get to the Scott family farm, which has no other exit other than Route 250, I’d have to think it’d be pretty easy to corral the shooter, at least if he drove up there.

12:30pm Update: There’s a bunch more information out now. Shootings took place at three different locations, off the mountain, all around Yancey Mills/Ivy; the Royal Orchard overpass was not one of them. It turns out that a fifth vehicle was hit, an unoccupied VDOT truck at the Yancey Mills facility. The caliber of the bullets in all incidents appear to be the same (though they’re not saying what caliber that is). The suspicion is that this is the work of more than one gunman, though presumably they’re working together. Police figure the shooters are still in the area, and the whole region is under surveillance. They say it’s safe to drive on 64 now, but looking at the traffic cameras, it doesn’t look like many people are buying that.

The national media haven’t picked up on the story yet, but Virginia media are all talking about it. If it stops with this morning’s string, then people may well remain calm. But if there are any more similar shootings, we can expect to be whipped up into a frenzy by a nationwide media brouhaha.

28 thoughts on “Random Shootings Close 64”

  1. Actually, county schools are closed for the whole day; they announced that toward 9:00. Yippee, a shooter day.

  2. I’d have to think it’d be pretty easy to corral the shooter, at least if he drove up there

    ?? If the shooter was on the Royal Orchard overpass, that’s an indication of someone who knows the area and knows it is a private road, meaning the chances of having someone drive past while they were plinking away were very low. If they drove up the hill to make their getaway rather than driving back down to 250 and from there, anywhere.

  3. whoops, meant to say it’s highly unlikely that if the shooter had a car they’d do anything but drive back down the hill to 250 and head off in any one of a number of directions.

  4. The overpass all the news stations keep mentioning is the Greenwood Station Road overpass which is not the access overpass to Royal Orchard. I use Greenwood Station Road all the time when I’m out riding as it is a lower volume rural road that gets me close to the base of Afton.

  5. As a parent, I think that the Albemarle County Schools did the correct thing in closing the schools today.

  6. Police say the shootings happened in three places:

    – Ivy Road Exit Ramp (mm114)
    – 609 Overpass/Greenwood Station Rd (mm106)
    – Yancey Mills (VDoT shop)

    Four vehicles shot on the interstate, two people hurt.

    Fith vehicle was parked VDoT truck.

    Same caliber firearm used in all three places, though no ballistic matches or anything yet. They also say there was more than one person involved — as per witnesses.

    All this info from NBC29.

  7. I think the schools did the right thing. More than one person makes it very odd and much caution should be used. That said- I believe that one would be foolish to speed anywhere tonight. There are going to be a whole lot of cops around.

  8. I spotted a ‘highway shootings’ headline this morning on Google News (via AP) and clicked it absent-mindedly, not realizing it took place in Cville. Crazy.

  9. It’s been on Fox News all morning. Some guy from the Progress did a phone interview. I heard Fox News was sending a reporter here.

    CNN doesn’t have it, but all the other networks do.

  10. I’d just like to remind everyone that a car provides zero protection from bullets. Any pistol cartridge will penetrate through one car door while a few may punch all the way through the other side. As for rifles, any full-power round fired by a rifle will absolutely go all the way through the car.

    A .22 LR round would have debatable ability to penetrate, but certainly a high velocity .22 loading would punch through one door and then ‘key hole’ into the body of a passenger. Unlikely to kill unless it hits you in one of a few very unfortunate spots. But it would pretty well ruin your day in any event.

    The only thing to do is to get the hell away from there as fast as you can. If someone is shooting at you, just drive as fast as you can and be difficult to hit. If you are being shot at while the car is not in motion, then do one of 2 things. Preferably, drive away immediately. If you don’t have the keys or driving away is not an option for some reason then get out of the car and run away to find better cover. The car is providing you with zero protection – all it’s doing is keeping you in one place and ensuring that you are not a moving target.

  11. CNN has it now. It’s not on their site, but it was a developing story a few minutes ago.

  12. I just looked at the Fox story. That is some overdraumatized BS if I ever saw it. “Bullets RIP four cars.” Really? They didn’t just hit the cars, they ripped them? So, the Fox News placement would suggest that the biggest story happening in the U.S. today is that four cars were shot at and two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. It sounds to me like we actually live in a pretty safe place then if that is the worst thing going on.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever been to Fox News’ website before, and I don’t plan to go again.

  13. Soon I imagine we’ll see Nancy Grace SCREAMING on TV about the incident here. Nancy Grace…-shudder-

  14. So, the Fox News placement would suggest that the biggest story happening in the U.S. today is that four cars were shot at and two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

    sadly, that’s the state of our major news outlets these days. they have to over-report every small incident in case it turns out to be bigger. this is probably just stupid kids (or stupid adults) f’ing around. but it could be an al quaeda sleeper cell training excersise “right in our own back yard” (dun dun duuuuuuun)!

    also, thanks to john malvo and seung-hui cho, any mention of “virginia” and “random shooting” in the same sentence will illicit this type of media response. i’m just surprised they didn’t jump on it sooner.

  15. My NYC relatives left voicemail at 10 AM asking about this story, so it must have hit national news this morning.

    f’ing around

    “F’ing around” probably fit when those UVa students filming a video for class got reported as gunmen near the Chem building. That description doesn’t seem to fit here.

  16. This is just a couple of punks from the area who decided to take daddy’s gun out and have a little fun. It will never rise to the semi-professional level the Beltway Snipers.

  17. I can just see the Faux news talking points for the next month. “We need to arm all cars with 50 caliber turrets to fight back. More guns, that’s the solution

  18. Here’s my theory.

    This was done by two guys, probably between 18-40 years old. White. No more than a high school education. They live in the vicinity of Waynesboro. Like most people, they thought wrongly that a car’s occupants would be protected by the vehicle body. They’d been drinking. And they thought it might be fun to shoot up some cars with a rifle or two. So they started at the bank in Waynesboro, and then they went out on 64, found the empty VDOT vehicle, and shot it up. Then they thought it might be fun to go for some moving targets, and found a nice spot or two along 64. Shooting at cars was, to their minds, no worse than tossing water balloons from an overpass.

    Then they saw the news today, after they slept it off, and realized holy shit, we’re in a lot of trouble. Now it’s just a question of how long they can keep their mouths shut. Because once they start talking, the word will spread and, soon enough, they’ll be arrested. And they’ll talk, I’m pretty sure of that.

    So that’s my theory. We’ll know soon enough how good it is. :)

  19. From the News-Virginian : “Slade Woodson, 19, of Batesville, Albermarle County, was being sought as a person of interest in the Interstate 64 and Waynesboro shootings, according to police scanner reports and a Waynesboro woman whose home was hit by bullets.”

    From the Daily Progress : “In January, an 18-year-old Western Albemarle High School student was arrested and charged with stealing two pickups from Crozet and setting them on fire.Slade A. Woodson was initially arrested on two felony counts each of auto theft and arson, but those charges have been reduced to misdemeanors, Clark said.

    Authorities believe the trucks were taken on joy rides and set afire to cover up any evidence possibly left behind.”

  20. I wonder if John Allen Muhammad is saying to the jailer…”See? I told you I didn’t do it!”

  21. Coopers said at press conference the “perp” was spotted in an AMC Gremlin. I didn’t think any of those were still on the road. What a loser car for a loser sombitch.

  22. “A .22 LR round would have debatable ability to penetrate, but certainly a high velocity .22 loading would punch through one door and then ‘key hole’ into the body of a passenger. Unlikely to kill unless it hits you in one of a few very unfortunate spots.”

    Including accidents, the various .22 rimfire cartridges kill more people than any other caliber. It’s less likely to be deadly in any given instance, but a lot of people get shot with them – people tend to underestimate them and not take them as seriously as they might take a heavier centerfire, either with regard to gun safety or to seeking medical care immediately. The wounds can appear to be minor, if painful, but still cause internal bleeding that can be fatal much sooner than the victim imagines.

    Anyone who thinks shooting with anything and at anything where people might be endangered is a lark, needs a *very* severe lesson to the contrary. Perhaps after their jail sentence these idiots could be made to do a few thousand hours of community service in a VA hospital so they can see what might have happened with their little prank. Hopefully they’ll get felony convictions so they’ll have to stay away from guns in the future.

  23. Hmm. OK, something struck me very odd watching the news yesterday. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the bomb threat at Brownsville and Henley, not far from Western Albemarle High School. I hear the suspect is a Western Albemarle High School alumni? Any truth to that rumor? I thought that perhaps there would be a connection between the bomb threat anniversary and yesterday’s shootings, and, well, if it’s the same guy, voila, we’ve got our connection. Just some crazy guy getting his jollies from shutting the schools down and/or celebrating the March 27 anniversary. Just a thought.

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