John Christopher Simmons

John Christopher Simmons

A man deputies sought on charges of shooting into a vehicle on Saturday eluded them but left behind a vehicle laden with drugs weapons and cash.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has filed 13 felony charges and a misdemeanor against John Christopher Simmons, 34, of 182 Lakewood Park Dr. in Martinsville after they searched the vehicle he abandoned when they approached, a sheriff’s office release said.

Their interest in Simmons emerged after the Martinsville-Henry County Emergency 911 Center received a call 11:34 a.m. Saturday reporting that someone had shot into a vehicle at 5200 Chatham Road in Martinsville, the release said.

Investigators were told that Simmons was the person who had fired multiple gunshots following a domestic argument, the release said. No one was injured.

Deputies located Simmons driving on Lakewood Park Drive, and when he saw them, he left the vehicle and escaped into a wooded area, the release said. He has not been found.

In searching Simmons’ vehicle investigators found four handguns, 3.5 ounces of suspected cocaine, 2.85 ounces of suspected heroin, 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine and $7,000 in cash, the release said.

The suspected narcotics will be submitted to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science for analysis, but investigators estimated the street value of the seized narcotics to be in excess of $18,000.

Simmons is wanted on charges of:

  • Shooting into an occupied vehicle, 10 counts.
  • Possession of a firearm by a violent convicted felon.
  • Felony destruction of property.
  • Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
  • Reckless handling of a firearm (misdemeanor).

The Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s help in locating Simmons.

Anyone having information regarding this incident or his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2,500 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.

Steven Doyle is Local Editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801 ext. 245. Follow @StevenLDoyle.

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