Crime and Public Safety

Roanoke Police say a woman was struck by gunfire last night as she was driving along the 1700 block of Salem Avenue Southwest in the Hurt Park area. Officials say the woman’s injuries are not life-threatening. Police ask anyone with information to contact them.

From Roanoke City Police: On February 27, 2019 just before 8:30 pm, Roanoke Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 1700 block of Salem Avenue SW. Upon arrival, officers located an adult female with a gunshot wound in front of a residence. She was transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.The investigation shows the victim was shot in her vehicle while she was traveling west on Salem Avenue. After she was struck by gunfire, the victim’s car crashed into an unoccupied vehicle parked on Salem Avenue.There have been no arrests made at this time. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.

Roanoke County police say an attempted robbery over the weekend turned fatal when an apartment resident shot and killed the would-be robber. It happened on the 6,000 block of Carefree Lane in the Hollins area. Police identify the deceased robber as 27-year-old Frankie Cordova of Roanoke. No charges have been filed against the resident who fired the fatal gunshot.

From Roanoke County Police:  On Sunday, February 24, 2019 at approximately 8:55 p.m., Roanoke County Police responded to a disturbance with weapon call in the 6000 block of Carefree Lane. Upon arrival at that location, officers discovered a male subject had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene by Roanoke County Fire & Rescue. Through further investigation it was determined that the deceased subject, identified as Frankie E. Cordova, 27, of Roanoke, had attempted a robbery at the residence. The victim of the robbery was able to fire his own weapon, killing the suspect. No charges have been placed at this time. This case is still under investigation and no further in formation will be released at this time. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Roanoke County Police at 540-562-3265.

Editor’s note: Google Maps shows the the 6000 block of Carefree Lane to be home to a large apartment complex.

Donquale Maurice Gray

State Police say the search for a suspected cop shooter is now focusing on the Roanoke region. 25-year-old Donquale Gray is charged with shooting a Bluefield, Virginia police officer two weeks ago at a traffic stop. There is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.

From Virginia State Police: The search for the West Virginia man wanted for shooting a Bluefield, Va. Police Officer two weeks ago has now spread to the Lynchburg and Roanoke region. State and federal law enforcement are following up on information that indicates Donquale “DJ” Gray, 25, of Bluefield, W.Va., may now be hiding out in this area. Gray is wanted in Virginia for attempted capital murder of a police officer and there is a $20,000 reward being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

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.

From Roanoke City Police: Police have identified the deceased victim as Sean De Dieu Nkurunziza, 26 of Roanoke. The investigation indicates the victim engaged in a verbal dispute with an unidentified individual which escalated to the shooting. This is an ongoing investigation.  Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.

PREVIOUS: On February 24, 2019 just before 1:00 am, Roanoke Police responded to a report of shots fired at a business in the 2600 block of Cove Rd NW. Officers located an adult male outside the business, who was pronounced deceased on scene. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.

WDBJ7 identifies the business as the Triangle Mart.

 

 

UPDATE from Roanoke City Police: In reference to the incident below, Roanoke Police have identified the deceased victim as Mithiang  Lwat, 55 of Roanoke. Bol Ashwil, 24 of Roanoke was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Roanoke Police have arrested Arob Ashwil, 27 of Roanoke. He is charged with 2nd degree murder. The individuals involved in this incident are related to one another. The investigation is ongoing.

PREVIOUS: Roanoke Police are investigating a shooting in the 700 block of Fairview Rd NW. At this time one, individual is confirmed to be deceased and another injured. This is an active investigation. Roanoke Police will update as details become available. Roanoke Police do not believe there is any immediate danger to the community concerning this incident.

Donquale Maurice Gray

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.

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:

02-22 Burke-Smolett Wrap1-WEB

Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyer says the “Empire” star “enjoys the presumption of innocence.”

Updated February 21 from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: This case was referred to the Bedford County Juvenile Court Service Unit for disposition. Due to the fact this case involves a juvenile the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office will have no further comments.

Previous: Authorities in Bedford County have determined a reported attempted kidnapping was made-up. Investigators say after reviewing surveillance footage and talking with the alleged victim and her family they determined that the report of two men in a white van allegedly trying to kidnap an 11-year-old girl while riding her bike Friday on Hales Ford Road was fabricated.

From Bedford County Sheriff’s Office on 02/15/19 — At 5:00 p.m. today, Bedford County 911 received a call from Hales Ford Road. The caller reported that two white males had attempted to kidnap his 11 year old daughter. The caller stated that his daughter was riding her bike when two men in a white two door car pulled up behind her. The passenger of the white car got out of the vehicle and grabbed the girl and her bike. He then threw her and her bike in the back seat of the car. The car then pulled away and traveled approximately 100 yards. The victim yelled that if they didn’t let her out of the vehicle she was calling the police on her cell phone. The men stopped the car pulled her and her bike out of the car and sped off. She then ran into the woods and called her father and told him what had happened.

The victim describes the car as a white two door sedan with white hubcaps. The center of the hubcaps has a red stripe going down the center. The steering wheel of the car had a red cover on it. No further description.

The driver of the car was a white male wearing blue jeans and a green shirt. She stated he appeared to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s. No further description.

The passenger was also a white male and appeared to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s. He was wearing black gloves, blue jeans, a blue shirt and had blond hair. His hair was short on the sides and long on top. She also said one of his eyebrows appeared to be shaved off. No further description.

Anyone with information on this crime or possible suspects are please asked to call the  Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900 or go online to http://cvcrimestoppers.org. Enter your tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3TIPS app on your mobile device. Crime Stopper callers remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward up to $1,000.00.

Roanoke Police UPDATE February 20: We have identified a vehicle of interest in regards to this incident. During the course of the investigation, we found the description of the suspect vehicle did not match what was originally provided. On February 19, a fatality investigator located a red, Chevrolet Silverado parked in the vicinity of 4th Street and Highland Ave SW that had damage consistent with evidence located at the scene. The investigator found and spoke with the owner of this vehicle. The truck was taken as evidence. At this time, no arrests have been made in the case. This is still an ongoing investigation.

From Roanoke Police 02/15/18 — UPDATE – Roanoke Police are asking for the public’s help identifying and locating the suspect vehicle involved in the incident below.

We are looking for a white, Chevrolet or GMC, Dually pickup truck. The vehicle will have recent front-end damage.

If you have seen a vehicle like this or have any information about this case, please call us at (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.

Original post on 02/14/19 — A woman now identified as 58-year-old Linda Pierson of Roanoke died after what police now call a hit and run last night in downtown Roanoke. Pierson was walking at the intersection of 5th Street and Campbell Avenue Southwest when she was hit around 7 pm. Roanoke Police are investigating the death as a fatal hit and run

Photo: GCSO

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.