Crime and Public Safety

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(from VSP) At the request of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Salem Division, is conducting an investigation into the death of male subject on Crozier Drive in Elliston, Va.   

The incident occurred on Sunday, September 24, 2023, when Deputies attempted to speak with a suspicious male walking on Crozier Court in Montgomery County.  As deputies approached the white male, subject ran on foot behind a residence.  Officers gave chase.  The subject crossed Crozier Drive onto the property of East Montgomery High School.  As the officers caught up to the subject, the male produced a handgun and fired a single shot.  Officers attempted life saving measures, but the male subject died at the scene.
There is no evidence the officers discharged their firearms. The remains were transported the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for identification.  A handgun was recovered at the scene, and no officers were injured in the incident. 

(from RoCo police) On Tuesday August 22, 2023, a 2005 Mack Truck driven by Michael Thornton was traveling northbound in the 4200 block of Jae Valley Rd in Roanoke County. The vehicle lost control, crossed the center line and ran off the left side of the road. The truck struck a guardrail and continued down an embankment where it overturned and caught fire. Mr. Thornton died at the scene.

Drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash. The road was closed to traffic for several hours but has reopened. There are no charges pending in this case and the investigation continues

The Roanoke County Police Department is in search of a missing person last seen on Sunday, August 20, 2023.

Christopher Jeremiah Lafanette, 26, was last seen at his house in Roanoke and may have been headed to High Point, NC.

He is described as a black man, brown hair, green eyes, 5′8″ tall, and weighing 138 pounds  (See attached photos).

The vehicle Lafanette was operating was located by police on Monday at Happy Hollow Gardens Park with the keys still inside. His family says it is out of character for him to not remain in contact.

Anyone with information on Lafanette’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Roanoke County Police Department at 540-562-3265.

Roanoke City police have released an updated picture of 25 year old Edward Denoyer, wanted as a suspect for Second Degree Murder regarding two homicides that occurred on September 17th in the 1200 block of Melrose Avenue NW. He is considered armed and dangerous. See the picture here  – do not approach Denoyer but call the police if you see him.


Roanoke Police have arrested 26 year old Marquest Hairston of Roanoke and charged him with two counts of Malicious Wounding after a shooting incident where two men were wounded on Hershberger Road NW earlier this week. Hairston was identified as a suspect throughout the course of the investigation and surrendered at the Police Department yesterday without incident. More charges are pending.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing adult and her children. Lauren Cook and her children were last seen on September 5th, 2023 in Franklin
County. Since then, communication efforts with Lauren have been unsuccessful. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Lauren Cook and her children, please contact the Office of the Sheriff at 540-483-3000.









Lauren Elizabeth Tousa Cook
30 Years Old, 5’1”, Long Brown Hair, Brown Eyes












Benjamin Cook
7 Years Old
Blue Eyes and Blonde Hair










Hannah Cook
5 Years Old
Brown Eyes and Blonde Hair










Elijah Cook
2 Years Old
Blue Eyes and Blonde Hair

(from Virginia State Police) The crash occurred at 10:09 p.m. on Saturday, September 9th on Interstate 81 at the 134-mile marker.  The crash involved four passenger vehicles and one tractor trailer. A 2003 Ford Excursion was traveling south when the vehicle crossed the median and struck a 2015 Ford Expedition, a 2022 Kia and then a 2023 Nissan, causing the Excursion to roll over and catch fire.  A 2022 Mark tractor trailer then struck the Kia. The driver of the Kia is identified as Leonard John Pick, 25, of Palm Beach Shores, FL.  Due to the damage to the Kia, it is unknown if Mr. Pick was wearing his seatbelt and he died at the scene.  There was a female passenger in the Kia which obtained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
The roadway was closed for an extended period of time because of the tanker trailer involved in the crash.  HAZMAT crews and VDEM were called to deal with unloading and the making safe, of the fuel and vapors contained in the trailer. The Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team and Commercial Motor Vehicle Team are assisting with the crash.

Danville’s Police Chief is heading to Roanoke. City officials in Danville announced today that Scott Booth has accepted chief’s position in the Star City. It is no surprise: Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell had indicated Booth was his top choice. His record in Danville includes a sharp reduction in crime rates under his tenure.

DANVILLE CITY NEWS RELEASE: City Manager Ken Larking announced today that Police Chief Scott Booth will be leaving the City of Danville to accept the position of police chief for the City of Roanoke. Booth’s last day as police chief in Danville will be October 31.

Larking noted the dramatic reduction in crime rates under during Booth’s tenure.

“While I am disappointed that Chief Booth will be leaving us, I am incredibly thankful for what he and his team have accomplished under his leadership,” Larking said. “I am happy for him to have this new opportunity and for the people in Roanoke. Scott and the department have built a winning system in Danville.”

Mayor Alonzo Jones agreed, saying, “He’s done a great job for the City of Danville, and he deserves praise for the work he has done. To see crime at the lowest rates in years, the partnerships between the police department and the community that are now in place, and the high level of engagement and trust with citizens speaks volumes for Chief Booth and the entire department.”

Booth has been the chief of police in Danville since February 2018. “Over the last five years, we have worked together as a city to meet several goals, including reducing violent crime and establishing community-based policing, which has become the Danville model,” Booth said. “Through a philosophy of having leaders in the department that are empowered to act, and lead by example, the Danville community has come together and established a better tomorrow for the future.”

During his tenure, he has been recognized for his leadership in reducing crime, community policing, and community engagement. Most recently, Booth received national recognition with the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award from the National Gang Crime Research Center. The award recognizes Booth’s accomplish

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