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Autopsy for shooting victim is set for today
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Martinsville Interim Police Chief Eddie Cassady stands on Third Street in Martinsville at the scene where two people were found shot in a wrecked vehicle early Sunday morning. The vehicle struck the pole to the left of Cassady. One man has been arrested in connection with the shooting incident. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

An autopsy is scheduled today on the remains of a Martinsville man who died following a shooting early Sunday, according to city police.

Eugene Laquan Jones, 20, of Martinsville, died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital following the shooting Sunday in Martinsville, said Interim Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady.

Jones’ remains were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke, where an autopsy is scheduled today, Cassady said.

Jones and Willie Tyree Grant, 21, also of Martinsville, were suffering from gunshot wounds when they were found in a vehicle that had crashed into a utility pole on the 400 block of Third Street, according to Cassady and a news release.

Grant has since been discharged from the hospital, according to a representative at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

The vehicle, an Oldsmobile, crashed into the pole and then into some bushes near the driveway of a home on Third Street, Cassady said. Grant and Jones were in the front seat of the vehicle, Cassady said.

He declined to say whether there was anyone else in the car at the time.

However, Cassady said Jones and Grant “were the only people in the vehicle that were injured that we are aware of.”

The two initially were taken to Memorial Hospital in Martinsville and then were transferred to Roanoke Memorial, authorities have said.

The incident began when police responded to a report of a shooting about 1:30 a.m. Sunday at 102 Pony Place.

Police found no one with injuries there, but a residence had been shot into, authorities have said. While they were at Pony Place, officers heard multiple gunshots at another location several streets over and went to Third Street.

Cassady declined to say whether the two incidents were related.

Devon Laray Pritchett, 20, of 280 Martin Park, Axton, was charged Monday with shooting into an occupied dwelling, discharging a weapon from an occupied motor vehicle, conspiracy to shoot into an occupied dwelling and discharging a firearm in a public place in connection with the incident on Third Street, according to a news release.

In addition to Martinsville police officers, authorities from Henry and Patrick counties as well as the Virginia State Police were summoned to the scene on Third Street and to the emergency room at Memorial Hospital, Cassady said.

“There were a lot of folks at the scene, and a lot of them were visibly upset. A group had gathered at the scene that made it a challenge for the fire and EMS (rescue workers) to render assistance to the injured,” Cassady said. He did not elaborate.

“Once order was restored at both locations,” Cassady said, officers from other jurisdictions were able to leave.

Many of those living in and around the Pony Place and Third Street neighborhoods heard or saw parts of the incident.

One person on Pony Place, who did not want to be identified, said that around 2 a.m. Sunday, “we heard a whole bunch of loud shooting ... Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.. It might have been about four” shots. “This woman’s apartment had been shot into. The bullets came through her apartment window.”

A person on Third Street said the situation “was scary. It was very scary to see the police officers walking the streets with rifles. It was just a bad experience.”

That person, who also did not want to be named, said some patrol cars and fire trucks were parked right outside of their home, and “there were lots of people and debris in the street. I learned that someone had been shot.”

Another person in the neighborhood — who also did not want to be identified — said “blue lights, red lights” were visible on the street. “I didn’t know what was going on. I heard the shots, but that’s all. I heard three” shots. “I’ve heard them before” in the neighborhood.

The investigation is ongoing, and Cassady asked that anyone with information to call 403-5300 or Crimestoppers at 632-7463.

Rewards of up to $1,000 are available through Crimestoppers for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. The amount of any reward depends on the substance of information given and the nature of the crime.


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