Farmville police say 3 shootings are likely connected

Published 4:31 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

Farmville Police Department (FPD) now has reason to believe the three recent shootings occurring in town are likely connected.

Bill Hogan

FPD Chief Andy Ellington said during a Tuesday, Jan. 21, news conference that law enforcement had reason to believe the Jan. 12 shooting at the McDonald’s on South Main Street and the Dec. 16 shooting at the Days Inn Motel, also on South Main Street, are related.

Farmville police and Longwood University Police Department responded to a report of shots fired on Oak Street near Centra Southside Community Hospital, according to a Longwood alert sent Friday, Feb. 7, at 3:16 p.m.

Until Monday, Feb. 24, police had not told The Herald they believed there was a connection between this third shooting and the previous two, but they did say they were investigating the possibility.

“I can say that we now do believe that they are probably connected,” FPD Capt. Bill Hogan said Monday.

Hogan said the Feb. 7 incident took place in the 600 block of Oak Street. He has said bullets fired during the incident struck two vehicles and the rear of a residence that fronts Oak Street. The rear of the residence faces a parking lot.

“We do have multiple witnesses that saw people in the parking lot run in different directions,” he said Monday.

The residence struck by a round was occupied by students, Hogan said, adding that there is no reason to believe the people in that building were the targets of the shooting.

He said the shooter was firing at one man, and the round went past him and hit the building.

“That is not the building where I think the altercation originated,” Hogan said.

It is the inhabitant of a building adjacent to the struck residence that has led police to believe the three shootings are connected.

“One of the people that were involved in both the Days Inn and the McDonald’s shootings, this place on Oak Street was a residence of a family member,” Hogan said.

There were no reports of injuries in the Feb. 7 shooting. Two individuals were detained and questioned, but no one has been arrested.

“We don’t know who’s doing the shooting, but the people that are getting shot at know who’s shooting at them,” Hogan said.

Only one arrest has been made out of the three shooting incidents.

Following the shots fired at the McDonald’s on South Main Street Jan. 12, police combed the area for evidence. Javon Rashaad Brooks, age 19, of Farmville, was found hiding in a wooded area just off of Putney Street. Brooks was in possession of a handgun. He was then detained and later charged with carrying a concealed weapon and reckless handling of a firearm.

Hogan made it clear he was being careful to protect the identities of the crime victims while also confirming the department does believe the three shootings are connected.

“I don’t want to name people, and I don’t want to give too many specifics, but at the same time, I think folks need to understand we don’t have a bunch of random shootings going on around town,” he said.

According to FPD, remaining suspects from the first two incidents are described as black males who appear to be between the ages of 18-30.

In the Jan. 21 press conference, Ellington announced that FPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Richmond Field Office were offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the McDonald’s and Days Inn shootings.

Anyone with information is asked to contact FPD detectives at (434) 392-9259. Tips can also be submitted to 888-ATF-TIPS, or the ReportIt® mobile app