March 28, 2008 -- Police have arrested two Virginia teens in connection with Thursday's shootings along Interstate 64 near Charlottesville, Va., which left two people injured and six vehicles hit by gunfire.
Authorities arrested 19-year-old Slade Allen Woodson Friday morning when they executed search warrants on his place of residence in connection with two other Thursday shooting incidents in Waynesboro, Va. Woodson also faces charges stemming from those shootings, which resulted in property damage at a bank and a private residence.
The other suspect in the I-64 shootings is a 16-year-old male from Crozet, Va., whom authorities declined to name because he is a minor. He was arrested Thursday afternoon.
The pair face an array of charges stemming from the highway shootings, including felony counts of malicious wounding, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and maliciously shooting at an unoccupied vehicle. Authorities said more charges are likely as investigators continue to process the evidence and piece together the alleged crimes.
Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Steve Flaherty said in a statement that analysts are still examining ballistic evidence collected at the various crime scenes, including a weapon similar in caliber to the weapon believed to have been use in the shootings. Evidence was transported Friday morning to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lab in Ammondale, Md.
Both teens are in police custody. Law enforcement officials say they transferred Woodson to the Middle River Regional Jail in Verona, and the juvenile is in state police custody, awaiting transport to the Blue Ridge Detention Center in Albemarle County.
Virginia State Police superintendent Col. Steve Flaherty said during a news conference Friday morning that state police and the Albemarle County Police Department executed a search warrant for the Waynesboro incidents at 4:48 a.m. today at Yonder Hill Farm in Crozet, Va. The property lies just off I-64 and about 13 miles west of Charlottesville.
Woodson was arrested there without incident, but "as the tactical teams from these two agencies made entry into the residence, they were confronted by an armed individual, who was armed with a handgun," Flaherty said. "The man was subsequently shot. He was flown to UVA hospital in Charlottesville and is undergoing treatment as we speak."
Flaherty did not identify the injured man. Albemarle County Police Chief John Miller said one of the department's officers, whom he declined to name, was involved in the shooting and is now on administrative leave with pay.
The Virginia State Police is investigating the shooting; no one else at the residence was injured, Flaherty said.
Woodson has been charged with two felony counts for allegedly shooting into an unoccupied building, a bank, and destruction of property for damage done to a residential structure in addition to the charges he faces for his alleged involvement in the I-64 shootings.
Police linked Woodson to the Waynesboro shootings after a vehicle very similar in appearance to his orange 1974 AMC Gremlin was seen on surveillance footage captured by a security camera at the DuPont Community Credit Union the same night of the I-64 shootings.
According to court records obtained by ABC News, the bank surveillance video showed that "a firearm appeared to have been discharged" and that the Gremlin "appeared to contain two occupants." The car was recovered late Thursday evening, found abandoned in Albemarle County, Va.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant for Woodson's property, small-caliber cartridge casings were "clearly visible within the vehicle, as well as a box labeled to contain ammunition."
The credit union, located near Exit 94 of Interstate 64, is within 15 miles of the I-64 crime scenes, and sits less than a few hundred yards from the highway.
Thursday morning, employees of the bank reported seeing a white van in the parking lot with bullet holes in the front and the back of the vehicle, possibly from a single bullet. The van had previously been repossessed and is owned by the bank.
A bullet hole also was found in the first floor window of the bank and possible ricochet marks were found on the brick front of the building and a DuPont Community Credit Union sign.
After reviewing bank surveillance video, Waynesboro police identified the Gremlin associated with activity that took place in the parking lot between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
Woodson's Gremlin was easily recognizable because, according to court documents, the front wheels are chrome and the rear wheels are black. The vehicle also has a nonstandard grill and a chrome rear spoiler.
The Waynesboro police also are investigating an additional shooting at the 200 block of North Commerce Avenue that occurred during the same time frame as the other shootings.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to a residence for a "shots fired call," but initially did not find any evidence to validate the claim.
Later, however, a resident found a shell casing in the street, and officers who responded to the scene determined that a home nearby appeared to have been hit.
The now wide-ranging shooting investigation began in the early morning hours Thursday, when emergency call centers first received reports of gunfire along I-64.
Callers said a westbound vehicle appeared to have been struck by gunfire coming from an overpass near the 106-mile marker. Minutes later, calls rolled in concerning shots fired near the Exit 114 on ramp.
Shortly after the first report of trouble at 12:10 a.m., authorities closed a 20-mile stretch of the interstate to all traffic. It remained blocked off until shortly after 6 a.m.
The gunfire along I-64 struck two drivers who were treated and released from hospitals Thursday.
Among the six vehicles police determined had been hit were a van, two cars, a tractor-trailer and a Virginia Department of Transportation dump truck that was parked near the Yancey Mills exit.
Law enforcement sources told ABC News Thursday that a rifle was involved in the I-64 shootings, and noted that the shooter or shooters appeared to be aiming for occupants, instead of targeting vehicles themselves.
The region of Virginia hit lies about 2 1/2 hours outside Washington, D.C., an area that is all too familiar with sniper attacks.
The so-called Beltway shootings rocked the Washington metropolitan area in October 2002, when two snipers killed 10 people and wounded three others in Virginia, Maryland and the nation's capital.
In Virginia, John Allen Muhammad is sitting on death row for those murders, and Lee Boyd Malvo is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in the killings.