State Police say their search for the man suspected of shooting a Bluefield police officer now extends to the Chicago area. 25-year-old Donquale Gray allegedly fired at the officer last weekend during a traffic stop. Police say Gray is originally from Chicago and is known to frequently return there. There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.
From Virginia State Police: State and federal authorities are continuing their coordinated efforts to locate the West Virginia man wanted for shooting a Bluefield, Va. Police Officer last weekend. A $10,000 reward is still being offered for information that leads to the arrest of Donquale “DJ” Gray, 25, who is wanted in Virginia for attempted capital murder of a police officer. Virginia State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, West Virginia State Police and local law enforcement on both sides of the state line have been following up on dozens of tips related to the possible whereabouts of Gray. Most recently Gray’s been living in Bluefield, W.Va. He is originally from Chicago, Ill., and is known to frequent family and friends in Chicago.
Gray shot a 29-year-old Bluefield, VA Police Officer last Saturday night (Feb. 16) during a traffic stop on Route 460 near Exit 3 in the town of Bluefield, Va. The officer survived his wounds and is still recovering. For his safety, the officer’s name is not being released at this time.
Gray was the passenger in a 2008 Toyota Yaris that the officer had stopped for an equipment violation at approximately 11:45 p.m. Gray began shooting at and wounded the Bluefield, Va. Police Officer as the officer was standing outside the vehicle on the driver’s side. The Bluefield, Va. Officer and a second Bluefield, Va. Officer, who had responded to assist with the traffic stop, returned fire. The Toyota’s driver got out of the vehicle and surrendered. Gray got into the driver’s seat and drove off. The Toyota was found abandoned a few hours later in Bluefield, W.Va. The driver of the vehicle was cited for a traffic violation and released. He was not injured in the shooting. Nor was the other Bluefield, Va. Police Officer at the scene.
The environmental impacts of that fiery tanker crash and spill on U.S.-220 near Fincastle are being revealed as a new detour plan is put in place today. WFIR’s Ian Price has more:
02-22 Environment-220 Detour WRAP
UPDATE — From VDOT: Work continues to repair Route 220 in Botetourt County just north of Fincastle where the road was damaged by an overturned tanker fire on February 20. The damaged section of the northbound lanes is located near Route 220’s intersection with Route 679 (Peck Road/Martins Lane).As of 6 a.m. on Feb. 22, northbound traffic is shifted into a single southbound lane of Route 220, the far left lane traveling north. The speed limit is reduced to 35 mph on this section.All southbound traffic is continuing to use the signed detour: Mary Alice Road to West Wind Road to Old Fincastle Road to return to Route 220. Residents in between the detour will continue to be able to access their homes.Tractor-trailers and large industrial vehicles should avoid Route 220 southbound and seek alternate routes such as I-64 and I-81.VDOT still plans to shift two-way traffic into the southbound lanes of Route 220 while repairs are made to the northbound lanes. A timeframe for this traffic change has not been determined and will be dependent on weather.Drivers should expect delays and heavier traffic on secondary roads in the vicinity of the closure.
An area criminal justice expert says there’s a good reason filing a false police report is a criminal offense — and the Jussie Smollett charges provide one very public example. Tod Burke is a former police officer, whose past college teaching experience includes Radford University. He says any time someone files a bogus police report, it misuses valuable law enforcement resources. And when the person is well-known, it’s even worse. He spoke with WFIR’s Evan Jones:
Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyer says the “Empire” star “enjoys the presumption of innocence.”
A renewed push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia this year has failed by a single vote. The House of Delegates rejected a procedural resolution today to permit immediate ERA consideration. It was a 50-50 vote, which means the resolution did not pass, and immediate consideration was therefore not possible. Among those pressing for passage, Democratic Delegate Jennifer Foy:
House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert had this response:
Republicans also said this vote was not about the ERA, but about overturning 400 years of established parliamentary procedure when considering any measure — and the precedent this might set. Democrats say ratification would mark an important step in assuring full Constitutional rights for women.
From Associated Press: RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A renewed push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia has failed by a single vote. The House of Delegates vote deadlocked 50-50 on a bid to force a full floor on the gender-equality measure Thursday. The tie vote meant the effort failed. ERA proponents had hoped Virginia will become the 38th state to approve the amendment. It would then have met the threshold for ratification in the U.S. Constitution. But even if it’s ratified, court battles would likely ensue over a long-passed 1982 deadline set by Congress. Virginia House Republican leaders blocked passage of the ERA, saying it would lead to looser restrictions on abortions.
The Williamson Road Area Business Association has a new leader to help direct development of the busy corridor. Valerie Brown says she wants to help make it to become more of a destination, something like Grandin or downtown Roanoke. She spoke with WFIR’s Evan Jones:
A Rocky Mount man faces grand larceny charges for allegedly stealing a barbeque smoker — and much more. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says 62-year-old Gary Kasey towed the smoker, which was attached to a utility trailer, from Rocky Mount to a Roanoke Home. Officials say when they searched the home, they found not only the smoker but many other stolen goods, drugs, and cash.
News release: On February 8, 2019 the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a stolen black BBQ smoker, which was attached to a utility trailer, from the Rocky Mount community of Franklin County. Information involving the larceny was shared within the Sheriff’s Office and a Deputy recalled observing the smoker being towed by a small tan truck prior to the smoker being reported stolen. Gary Kasey was developed as a suspect on February 9, 2019. During the investigation, a location was identified in Roanoke City for the stolen BBQ smoker. The Roanoke Police Department located the BBQ smoker at an address on Clifton St. in the City of Roanoke. The recovery of the smoker led to a search warrant on the residence where a large amount of stolen goods was recovered, as well as drugs and US Currency. It was through thorough investigation and the collaboration of both the Roanoke Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office that led to the arrest of 62-year-old Gary Kasey of Rocky Mount. On February 10, 2019, Kasey was arrested for Grand Larceny in Franklin County. Kasey was released on 2/13/19 on a $3,000.00 secured bond. The case is currently under investigation and additional charges may be pending.
The annual General Assembly debate over sanctuary cities took a new and heated turn yesterday when recent blackface scandals involving Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring came into play. After a Democrat accused bill supporters of “dog whistle politics”, the Republican House Majority Leader told Democrats the GOP is waiting on them to “clean up their own house” when it comes to racism. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
State lawmakers have passed a bill that would bar Virginia from entering into a regional greenhouse gas initiative without a two-thirds vote by both houses of the General Assembly. It comes as the Northam administration prepares to do just that, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has released a list of 42 priests accused of sexually abusing children over the last half century. One of the priests named once led St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke, although there is no evidence presented that the allegations pertain to his time here. Father Steven “Randy” Rule had previously been cleared of allegations of sexual conduct at a Richmond-area high school seminary in the 1970’s. He left Saint Andrew’s in 2002 after serving nine years as pastor.
From the Richmond Catholic Diocese:
Below are the names of clergy that have served in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and have a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor. This list is being published by the Diocese as we seek to redouble our efforts to assist survivors of abuse. To those who have been abused and who have not contacted law enforcement or diocesan officials, please know that we are here for you.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond urges individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese to report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.
We also encourage individuals to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 1-877-887-9603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report sexual abuse.
If you have questions about this list or the Diocese’s response to the sexual abuse crisis, please send an email to: PastoralResponse@richmonddiocese.org.
List of Clergy – as of 2/13/2019
Priests of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond
Name of Priest Status
Beardsley, Fredrick James Suspended
Blankenship, John Paul Convicted/Laicized
Bostwick, John Raymond Removed
Butler, John Robert Laicized
Dozier, Carrol T. (1) Deceased
Goff, Richard Bernard Laicized
Goodman, Julian B. Removed
Hesch, John Beaman (1) Deceased
Higgins, Philip J. Removed
Leonard, John E. Convicted/Removed/Deceased
Leveille, Roland Edmund Dispensed
Majewski, Joseph B. Suspended
McConnell, James Henry (1) Deceased
Murphy, Dennis Paul Suspended
Pham, Joseph Thang Xuan Suspended
Rizer, James Lee Deceased
Rodriquez, Oscar Alexander “Paul” Convicted
Rule, Steven R. Suspended
Shrader, Dwight Edward Laicized
Teslovic, Eugene John Removed
Priests ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, alleged to have committed abuse in the present-day territory of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and later incardinated to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, or alleged to have committed abuse in both dioceses.
Name of Priest Status
Findlay, Harris Markam (1) Laicized
Kamerdze, Paul Jude (1) Deceased
Krafcik, Andrew William Paul Laicized
Munley, John Joseph (1) Deceased
Nudd, Robert Eugene (1) Deceased
Rea, John (1) Deceased
Reinecke, William Thomas (1) Deceased
Ryder, Austin Lewis (1) Deceased
Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse that occurred in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond
Name of Priest/ Religious Status Religious, Other Diocese
Brady, Martin D., TOR Deceased Franciscan
Burkhardt, Gordian, OSB Laicized Benedictine
Earley, Richard, R. SSJ Deceased Josephite
George, Frederick, OSB Removed Benedictine
George, George Convicted Maronite
Melody, Roland (Owen John), m.s.ss.t Convicted Trinitarian
Philben, Francis M., CSS p (1) Deceased Holy Ghost
Ryan, Paul David Convicted/ Removed Ballarat, Australia
Smalls, Oliver Joseph Unknown Belize, S. A.
Religious and Priests of Other Dioceses with allegations of abuse elsewhere, who worked in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond
Name of Priest/ Religious Status Religious, Other Diocese
Bourbon, Francis R., S.J. Unknown Jesuit
Burton, Charles Jeffries, S.J. Removed Jesuit
Dyer, Bernardine George, O.P. Dismissed Dominican Friar
Fedor, James Laicized Scranton
Ludwig, Augustine, OSB Abandoned Ministry Benedictine
(1) – The allegation of abuse was made after the priest’s death.
A bill is progressing through the General Assembly that would require most doctors to provide upon request an estimate of charges for health care services they — and others — provide you. Supporters say it will provide patients information they need, but doctors say it is unreasonable to ask them to produce estimates for outside providers like x-ray physicians. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story: