ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Three people have been taken into custody after reportedly shooting at each other Wednesday morning in the Smithfield Heights area.
According to the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office, dispatch received multiple calls around 11:44 a.m., from citizens reporting that several men were shooting at each other in the 14000 block of Melissa Drive.
The investigation confirmed that multiple individuals were involved in a shootout. Deputies took three suspects into custody that are believed to be connected to the shooting.
On Wednesday night police identified two suspects, John Lee Butler III and Andre Deangelo Towns, both of Smithfield. Authorities on Thursday identified the third suspect in the incident, James Howard Wrenn Jr.
Butler has been charged with street gang predicated crime acting for gang, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, attempted second-degree murder, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute over a half-ounce, under five pounds, reckless handling of a firearm and maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle. He was also charged with robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection to a Dec. 19 incident in Red Oaks.
Towns is charged with use of a firearm in commission of a felony, attempted second degree murder, reckless handling of a firearm, maliciously shooting at an occupied building and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Wrenn is charged with use of a firearm in a felony, attempted second-degree murder, maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle, maliciously shooting at an occupied building, reckless handling of a firearm and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Both are being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
Those living in the neighborhood, who were home, say they heard multiple shots fired. “We thought someone was fooling around with fireworks or being silly,” said Will Renn.
Renn says he and his son Donte’ went outside to investigate the cause of the noise.
“We saw some fellas running and we didn’t think nothing of that either. Because everyone runs through everyone’s yards,” the Renns said.
The family is a little bit surprised about the shooting, saying it’s usually fairly quiet.
“Family friendly, like most everybody on this end has older kids or is kin to each other. We don’t have too much commotion out here,” Renn said.
The Renns were taken back that this did occur so close to the holidays.
“You’d think they’d have more love in their heart. There’s a reason for the season. Hopefully, they’ll calm down and get some Christmas cheer,” they said.
No injuries have been reported and deputies are gathering information on houses and or property that was damaged.
The family is grateful that no one was hit in the crossfire.
“I’m glad no one was out in the street that we know of like little kids. My grandson rides his bike on the cul-de-sac. My cousin too. I’m thankful they weren’t out at the time. They might not have realized what was going on before it was too late,” they said.
The investigation is still active and ongoing.
Newport News Police, Virginia State Police, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office and Smithfield Police Department’s assisted with the investigation.