Louisa shooting victim recounts terrifying rampage

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A day after the Louisa shootings, most of the people involved find it very difficult to talk. But there's one man with an incredible story to tell.

The house and all of its problems are located beside a long dirt road. You can't take two steps toward neighbors before they scatter. Nobody wants their words to make it back to the family, and have a whole new set of problems develop. But one man survived the shooting and spoke to us about what it was like to watch his son, die beside him.

Mark Cooper and his son, Mark Jr., were with family, and still in the wrong place, at the worst possible time.

ANDY: He just stood over him? Multiple times?
MARK: Just, pop pop pop pop, after he already shot him through the back.

They were sitting outside the home, when suddenly Charles "Zeke" Sponaugle opened fire on everyone.

"He shot my nephew in the back like 5 times, just botcha! botcha! botcha!, got them on the ground, and then once he got them on the ground he come back around and  just stood over the top off them and shooting 'em, you know? Like some dog, some animal," Cooper said.

Mark himself took a bullet in the arm, and without so much as a bandage, says Sponaugle predicted the violence.

"He CALLED people and TOLD people, the family, that he was gonna kill everybody. You know what I mean? He was gonna KILL everybody," Cooper said.

The shootings were carried out with all the intensity of a longstanding family feud over who really owns this L-shaped trailer home, valued at about $52,000...where tempers were still flaring a day later.

Louisa Sheriff's deputies prevented further outbursts, but Mark wonders why no one did more to keep this family tragedy from taking place.

"They said they couldn't do nothing until something's done. Now it's done, and now it's too late," Cooper said.

Mark took the bullet as he ran away from the gunfire. He remembers thinking, at the time, not everyone would survive. And then he looked back at the house, and was never so horrified, to be right.

"My son was already dead. I walked over there, touched him on the forehead, closed his eyes for him," Cooper said, fighting back tears.

So will this shooting, finally bring a rest to all of the family problems? Mark's not sure. In fact, no one from the family seems to know what's going to happen next at the house.

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