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Bassett man dies in officer-involved shooting in Ridgeway

WHEE Radio News Datebook: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022

Bypass at U.S. 220 and U.S. 58 in Ridgeway (Courtesy: StarNews)

At the request of Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred Friday (Dec. 2, 2022). 

Shortly before  3 p.m. Friday, a white 1999 Buick LeSabre stopped on the northbound Rte. 220 on-ramp and its driver exited the vehicle armed with a hunting rifle. The driver, Donald W. Hodges, 57, of Bassett, Va., then began shooting at a vehicle as it drove past him. The vehicle was struck, but the driver escaped injury. Hodges then fired at a pickup truck as it approached him. The driver of the second vehicle was struck. 

Within seconds, a Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy responding to calls concerning the shootings pulled up to the front of Hodges’ Buick. The deputy engaged the shooter and fired at Hodges. Hodges died at the scene. 

The driver of the pickup truck was transported to Sovah Health Martinsville for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. 

The deputy was not injured in the incident. 

At this stage of the ongoing investigation, it appears Hodges had been driving along Rte 220 and brandishing the firearm at passing motorists. State police is recreating his movements leading up to the shooting. If anyone witnessed the shootings and/or encountered the white Buick LaSabre to contact Virginia State Police by calling #77 on a cell phone or 540-380-5700 or by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov

Former BB&T Building (Courtesy: city of Martinsville)

Nearly 70 new apartments and more commercial space are coming to uptown Martinsville. The city council has approved a proposal from JRS Realty Partners for the renovation of the former BB&T building. The project is expected to be complete in 2025 and will include 68 one and two bedroom apartments that will range from $655-$995 a month. The project will also include commercial space on the main floor that will be dedicated to food and entertainment. While the rooftop will be used for a mountain view event space.

The national average pump price for a gallon of gas dropped 12 cents in the past week. It is the steepest weekly decline since early August—nearly four months ago. Meanwhile, the cost of oil edged lower on fears of economic slowdowns elsewhere around the globe. Because of these factors, the national average for a gallon of gas fell to $3.54. Virginia’s average of $3.35 is down seven cents in a week, down 14 cents from last month, but is up ten cents from this day a year ago. Over the last 15 days, the Virginia gas price average has dropped 15 cents.

In advance of National Influenza Vaccination Week December 5-9, Southside health districts reminds everyone six months and older to get their annual influenza (flu) vaccine. With flu activity elevated nationally, Virginia is currently seeing very high levels of the influenza virus. In fact, Virginia has already had 11,582 influenza-related infections and has investigated 97 flu outbreaks this season.

A cold front crosses through the region this afternoon and evening with showers ahead of the front and dry, cooler air behind it for tonight and Sunday. The next chance of precipitation returns on Monday night and Tuesday and continues through much of the week. High temperatures will be near to slightly above normal this week.

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