From the new update:
It looks like this was triggered by text messages from the victim (the shooter’s ex-wife) to the shooter’s current wife, where the victim claimed “an ongoing relationship” with the shooter. There are claims by the current wife of “repeated “very heated” arguments” on the phone between the shooter and the victim.
The Franklin Co. Sheriff has released his own timeline of events that includes calls to and from his personal cell phone. There are some very interesting (and disturbing) points in this timeline.
- The Sheriff was called by the shooter’s father first, before anyone called dispatch.
- It was about seven minutes after that initial call ended before he contacted his dispatch center. Two of those seven minutes involved him calling the shooter directly (presumably on the shooter’s cell phone) to attempt to speak with him directly. He had to leave a message.
- The wording of the Sheriff’s timeline leaves it unclear whether he contacted dispatch on his own initiative, or because he found out that the shooter’s wife had called. However, from the dispatch log that appears in the earlier story [separate link], it appears that the dispatcher attempted to contact the Sheriff first, and had to resort to a text message because they could not reach him by phone.
- After dispatch becomes involved (thus making things “official” and on the record), the Sheriff’s timeline appears to be what one would expect in this situation.
He also released a short statement by email. I fisk it here.
At no time did we ever have any indication that Mr. Agee was capable of such a horrific act.
Except, you know, for the calls from his father and wife that he had flatly stated his intent to commit said horrific act.
I can assure you that both myself and members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office did everything possible, with the information that we had at the time, to alert the appropriate authorities as to the situation regarding Mr. Agee.
Except for actually alerting the appropriate authorities.
Moreover, both I and other members of my office attempted to contact Mr. Agee by every possible means, in order to prevent the tragic events from occurring this past Monday.
This is probably the only true sentence your entire statement. [/fisk]
He says, of course, that he has no plans to resign.
Now, some more thoughts from the earlier story:
It appears that, after shooting his ex-wife, Dep. Agee was looking for suicide-by-cop. He called a Rocky Mount police officer who was a friend and said he would surrender to him, but that the friend would have to kill him.
Despite his apparent unwillingness to follow procedure and take the appropriate steps to ensure that the shooter was located before he could actually carry out his plan, the Sheriff did move to protect the shooter’s parents, wife, and the child he had custody of, by having them escorted to the office by other deputies.
During the pursuit through Montgomery County, the shooter’s car was struck by a cruiser driven by Virginia State Police Sgt. Brannock. Reports are not clear if this was intentional as part of a PIT maneuver, or accidental, though I suspect the former. It is at this point that Sgt. Brannock was shot in the leg when he got out of his car.
The shooter killed the victim in broad daylight, in public, at a crowded gas station with multiple witnesses, by shooting her with a rifle (the type of rifle is, as yet, not identified, but I suspect it would be an AR type, and possibly his “patrol” rifle). There was a child – HIS child – in the car with her. He approached in a marked Sheriff’s Department vehicle, and apparently fired immediately upon exiting. His approach in a marked vehicle ensured that no one would think to interfere until it was too late. I have seen no indication of whether he was wearing his uniform or not, but if he was that would have contributed to that effect. By using a rifle in a crowded area, he endangered everyone there, whether they were involved in his vendetta or not, including his own child. He later endangered more innocents by opening fire on a crowded highway.
As many have said, the Sheriff has much to answer for.
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[Source: Roanoke Times story, retrieved 6/1/11]