Two charged in shooting incident

Published 3:19 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Two men have been charged in connection with a reported Dec. 2 hunting-related incident on Stage Coach Road in Buckingham that led to gunfire during a two-vehicle chase through Cumberland and Buckingham counties.

According to Lee Walker, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), Kenneth Mount, 51, of Dillwyn, is charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and 27-year-old Darwin Velasquez of Prospect is charged with hunting from a vehicle, trespassing, assault and driving with a suspended license.

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“This is an active investigation and additional charges are possible as the incident crossed over into several jurisdictions,” Walker said.

No one was injured when shots were allegedly fired during the chase, said Capt. Dennis Ownby of the Cumberland Sheriff’s Office while on-scene at 522 N. Main Street in Farmville inspecting the Ford F-250 four-door pickup, which was struck several times while two males were inside, before arriving in Farmville.

“It came in, these fellows were … being pretty much chased by another vehicle, is what they said, and were being shot at from the other vehicle,” Ownby said.

According to Walker, Velasquez allegedly shot at a deer from the roadway. He said the deer was standing in proximity of Mount’s son.

“The subject that fired the shot from the road then drives off and leaves the scene. He then returns later with his brother to look for the deer. The hunter on the private property calls his father who is the landowner. The landowner and his son go to the road where the shot came from to investigate,” Walker said.

He said once Velasquez returned to the scene, “An altercation occurred between the landowner and the individual who appears to have fired the shot at the deer.”

Mount allegedly retrieved a rifle from his vehicle and displayed it, Walker said.

“The landowner pursues the vehicle through Buckingham and Cumberland counties. The landowner appears to have fired one shot that struck the back window of the fleeing vehicle, breaking the back window and then entering the interior. Investigators are still inspecting the vehicle for any additional damage from shots fired. The landowner ends the pursuit just before entering the Farmville town limits and then turns around. The individual who shot the deer from the road called the police for assistance.”

“The call originally came to us. Once we determined it happened in Buckingham, we called them,” Ownby said.

“We’ve got impacts all over the place and they go through [the vehicle]. There’s probably four or five just on the windshield,” Ownby said of the shots that struck the truck.

According to Walker, police from Longwood, Cumberland, Buckingham, Farmville and Virginia State Police Troopers assisted in the investigation.

VDGIF Conservation Police Officer Jessica Whirley is the primary investigating officer, Walker said.