Shooting investigations progress

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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Progress is being made in the investigations into three incidents of shots fired that took place in Farmville this past winter.

“We’re just now beginning to see some forensic ballistic evidence coming in that we’ve been waiting for,” Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington said Friday, May 29. “The COVID-19 virus, of course, put everything at a standstill and delayed everything, but we’re still actively working with (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) ATF in this investigation.”

He said ATF is working hand-in-hand with Farmville Police Department (FPD) on all three cases.

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The first shooting took place Dec. 16 at the Days Inn Motel on South Main Street. The second incident occurred Jan. 12 at the McDonald’s, also located on South Main Street. The third incident was Feb. 7 in the 600 block of Oak Street near Centra Southside Community Hospital.

Affirming what was reported Feb. 24 by FPD Capt. Bill Hogan, Ellington said Friday that police believe all three incidents are connected.

Only one arrest has been made out of the three cases. Following the shots fired at McDonald’s, 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.

In the incident at the Days Inn Motel, an individual was grazed by a bullet. No one else was injured in any of the three incidents, but bullets struck multiple vehicles in each case, and in the third incident, the rear of a residence also was struck by a round.

Ellington said FPD has some firearms that have been seized along the way, and those firearms together with the new ballistics evidence should allow for forward progress in the investigations.

“We can start matching some things up and connecting the dots,” he said.

He said it could still be a while before he has anything to report, though.

“I would love to have something to report soon, but I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up yet,” he said.