Stunned residents talk about mass shooting in Louisa

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A much quieter night in Louisa County, but it's still tense more than 24 hours after three people were killed and four others wounded.

52-year-old Charles "Zeke" Sponaugle Junior was shot to death by police, after authorities say he killed his son and nephew and wounded four others, Sunday. Some people shared their shock and disbelief. But those closer to the crime scene remain tight lipped.

They may see sheriff's deputies from time to time as authorities keep close watch on the property where the tragedy unfolded. On this second night after the bloodshed on Twigg Drive, Louisa sheriff's deputies drive by at least once an hour to keep the peace. In town, the deadly shootings have dominated conversations.

"We've lived here all our lives. I was born and raised here. To see that something tragic could happen in a small community like this, it makes you question your neighbors, your family," said Brittany Short.

Short works at Joe's Place. She says the shooter, Charles "Zeke" Sponaugle Junior, would occasionally stop in for pizza.

Authorities say Sponaugle died in a gun fight with sheriff's deputies Sunday after he killed his son and nephew and wounded four other relatives. The violence, a result of a long-standing family feud over land. Short says she saw a much different side of Sponaugle.

"From what I could tell he was just a normal guy. A normal guy, not too talkative, not too quiet, just normal," said Short.

Alan Boyd lives close enough to the crime scene that he got a barrage of phone calls.

"I got contacted from two of my aunts wanting to know if I was okay," said Boyd.

Boyd says he moved to Louisa, known for being a quiet town, for that very reason.

"You can leave your car unlocked so it is surprising when you hear about a shooting like that," said Boyd.

Surprising, Boyd says, because of what sparked it.

"I can't comprehend having an issue that strong you would shoot your own family over property," said Boyd.

Only one victim remains in the hospital, Sponaugle's nephew. He's in stable condition.

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