Shooting suspect arrested after barricade situation at Williamsburg business

Law enforcement officers and deputies on the scene of a shooting involving a barricaded suspect July 25, 2017. Authorities said a man fired several shots at an employee of an auto body shop. The situation caused lockdowns and closures in the area. The suspected shooter surrendered to authorities. Credit: WAVY/Jason Marks

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — The suspect of a shooting in Williamsburg is now in custody following a barricade situation at an auto body shop that lasted several hours.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office says a man was barricaded inside Ebby’s Body Shop on Second Street, off the Merrimac Trail. The barricade scene prompted lockdowns and closures in the surrounding the area.

Gallery: Barricade scene at Williamsburg business

Deputies were called to Ebby’s at 8:56 a.m. for a reported active shooter.

According to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, the suspect entered Ebby’s Auto Painting & Collision Repair with a gun and targeted an employee who he had a personal issue with. Authorities got to the scene within minutes.

A man had been shot multiple times.

Michael Sean Taylor. Credit: Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail

Michael Hudgins and his employees at Holiday Chevrolet Cadillac were just opening for the day when they heard a very unfamiliar sound.

“I heard gunshots, but didn’t know if they were gunshots,” Hudgins said. “I thought it was a car backfiring.”

The sheriff’s office say several employees quickly moved the shooting victim outside the business to a parking lot, where medics were able to provide first aid. The man was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. He is reportedly in stable condition at this time, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“They ran in the building and dragged him back out of the building,” Hudgins said. “I just assisted to where we could get him safe where the ambulance can pick him up.”

There were nine employees in the building at the time of the shooting.

After the shooting, authorities said the suspect — identified as 40-year-old Michael Sean Taylor — barricaded himself inside the business.

“As this unfolded there was a hostage that Mr. Taylor quickly released,” said Sheriff Danny Diggs.

Deputies tried to negotiate with Taylor for hours.

Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs says Taylor asked at one point to speak to some family members — which was facilitated. However, the situation deteriorated. According to Diggs, Taylor “broke off contact” with negotiators. Some of Taylor’s actions led the sheriff’s office to believe the situation was not going to end well unless action was taken.

Four rounds of gas were eventually deployed before law enforcement entered the business. A loud bang was heard on scene at the time, which Diggs says was a charge used to breach the door. Deputies then used a taser and took Taylor in to custody without incident, Diggs says.

Taylor has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, shooting in an occupied building and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Authorities say the incident was a domestic situation.

10 On Your Side learned that the victim is a Hampton resident. A woman outside of his home identified herself as the victim’s wife. She said the suspect is a friend.

Neighbors on the block described the victim as a “super nice man” who would “do anything for ya.”

Nearby Magruder Elementary School and Queens Lake Middle School were placed on precautionary lockdowns. The lockdown at Queens Lake was lifted first, then students at Magruder were being taken home around 12:45 p.m.

Lt. Dennis Ivey said people inside businesses or homes near Ebby’s were advised to shelter in place. People were asked to avoid the area.

The sheriff’s office asked the community to refrain from using social media to talk about the incident. They were hoping to make sure deputies were safe.

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. The hospital was initially placed on lockdown July 25, 2017 due to a barricade situation authorities were investigating. Credit: WAVY/Walter Hildebrand

The area around Second Street was closed for several hours during the situation.

VDOT officials tweeted Tuesday that an incident on VA-143 (Merrimac Trail) southbound at mile marker 34 — which is just off Second Street — closed all northbound and southbound lanes.

With the suspected shooter in custody, traffic was expected to reopen around that area in short order.

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center was initially placed on lockdown Tuesday, due to a recommendation by police, but has returned to normal operations.

Several agencies assisted the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, including Williamsburg Police, James City County Police, the ATF, FBI and Virginia State Police, as well as the York, Newport News and James City County fire departments.

Diggs says he is proud the response from his department as well as the assistance from partner agencies.

“I am very pleased that we were able to help save the life of the victim, and that we were able to capture the armed suspect without injury. Our deputies demonstrated great bravery, professionalism, and restraint during the entire event,” the sheriff said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Taylor was taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail and is being held without bond.

Stay with WAVY for the latest updates to this developing story.