March 28, 2008 (Updated at 6:15 p.m.) — Authorities have announced that two individuals will be charged in connection with the March 27, 2008, overnight Interstate 64 shootings west of Charlottesville area.
At a news conference held this evening, Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said that a 19-year-old man from Afton, Va., and a 16-year-old juvenile from Crozet, Va., will each face 10 felony counts in connection with the shootings.
Slade A. Woodson, 19, of Afton was arrested early Friday morning when police executed a search warrant at a residence in Crozet, charging him with two felonies relating to shootings in Waynesboro, Va. During that event, a second, unnamed man was shot by police executing the warrant. He remains hospitalized and Flaherty said he was in stable condition. Later Friday the 16-year-old was taken into custody.
Woodson has been transferred from the Albemarle County Jail to the Middle River Regional Jail in Verona. The juvenile will be held in the Blue Ridge Detention Center in Albemarle County.
Flaherty said that there is no evidence of any other suspects in the shootings but that additional charges are possible against Woodson and the juvenile.
Although Flaherty said that the investigation remains active, he indicated that he was elated with the developments. Flaherty praised the work of various law enforcement agencies who cooperated in the investigation.
"I'm very relieved," Flaherty said. "This was a case that gave us great concern."
The incidents occurred at two sites along Interstate 64 — at westbound exit 114, which is approximately eight miles west of U.Va.'s main Grounds, and at the Route 690 overpass near mile-marker 106, according to Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police.
The multiple incidents involved at least six different vehicles. In addition, an unoccupied Virginia Department of Transportation vehicle was shot at VDOT's Yancey Mills facility (about 22 miles from Charlottesville), Flaherty said. Two victims were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from local hospitals.
Thursday morning at 7 a.m., the Office of Emergency Preparedness sent an e-mail to all University students, faculty and staff alerting them to the situation. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs sent an e-mail notice to parents Thursday afternoon.
The new U.Va. Alerts system, which includes text message capabilities, was not used in this case. That system is reserved for situations in which there is a threat of imminent danger on or adjacent to University Grounds. After thoughtful review, University officials determined that the incidents did not meet the threshold for U.Va. Alerts.
Students, faculty or staff who have not yet subscribed to U.Va. Alerts are encouraged to do so as soon as possible at https://www.virginia.edu/uvaalerts/.
As further information is received, the University’s homepage will continue to be updated.
Officials throughout the University are monitoring the investigation closely, and recommend that students contact Student Affairs staff members if they have concerns. The safety and security of all members of the University community are a priority. As always, University Police reminds members of the U.Va. community to be alert to their surroundings and to take proper precautions at all times. Any suspicious activity should be immediately reported by calling 911.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in this investigation, crime scene security, following up on leads and continued security to the community. This includes air support and K-9 units. The Virginia State Police is the lead investigating agency for this incident.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Virginia State Police at (434) 293-3223 or Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000. Col. Flaherty has asked motorists using I-64 to remain alert and report anything suspicious.