Deaths reported in Virginia shooting

Jan. 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM
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APPOMATTOX, Va., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A suspect has been surrounded after a shooting incident in Appomattox County that left multiple fatalities, Virginia State Police said.

Media General News Service reported that while State Police had confirmed there were fatalities, they were not releasing identities or the exact number killed.

State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said officers had set up a perimeter around a wooded area where the suspect was "contained" but not in custody. As of 7 p.m. EST, about 100 officers had converged on the targeted area.

A State Police helicopter was forced to the ground when it began to leak fuel after being hit by gunfire four times, Molnar said. No law enforcement officers were reported hurt.

Police were first alerted to the incident about noon when dispatchers received a call about a man lying in Snapps Mill Road in need off medical help. An officer who arrived at the scene heard shots being fired and the helicopter was fired on about 1:30 p.m.

Cornerstone Christian Academy, located in the vicinity, was locked down as a precaution and students were released to their parents shortly after 3 p.m.

The (Lynchburg, Va.) News & Advance reported officers were brought in from sheriff's offices in Appomattox, Prince Edward, Campbell and Charlotte counties, as well as officers from the Farmville Police Department and the Virginia State Police, including tactical and K-9 units.

The newspaper said officers also had surrounded a small, white farmhouse on a narrow, two-lane road.

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