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Update: Court documents shed more light on Wythe County shooting
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Update: Court documents shed more light on Wythe County shooting

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Shooting scene

The driveway at 586 Whippoorwill Road, where two Wythe County deputies were shot Tuesday night, along with a suspect.

Update: The suspect in last night’s shooting that injured two Wythe County deputies is facing multiple charges.

Wythe County Commonwealth Attorney Mike Jones said Ricky Madison Delk is facing eight charges of attempted capital murder, eight charges of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one charge of discharging a firearm in a dwelling.

An emergency protective order filed against Delk sheds some light on what happened at 586 Whippoorwill Road Tuesday night before a 911 call that led to a shoot-out between Delk and local law enforcement officers on the property.

According to the order filed Wednesday morning in Wythe County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, Delk was involved in a domestic disturbance with his wife, Kristina Delk, and his mother, Vickie Jean Hoblick. Prior to the 911 call, Ricky Delk brandished a firearm in the presence of his three-year-old daughter, his wife and mother. He fired one round from a semi-automatic pistol in his bedroom during the disturbance before law enforcement arrived, the order said.

Deputies involved in the late-night shooting Tuesday on Whippoorwill Road describe a harrowing scene of an ambush along a dark and woodsy driveway. So dark was the night deputies had to look for the light of gunfire to identify where the suspect was hiding.

Two deputies, along with the suspect, were shot. One deputy was released. The other is in serious condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where the suspect is also listed in serious condition.

Wythe County Sheriff deputies were called to the home at 586 Whippoorwill Road shortly before 10 p.m. According to county records, the property is owned by Ricky Delk. Major Anthony Cline said that the suspect’s wife called 911 to report that during an argument her husband had fired a gun in the house. She took their daughter and ran from the home, a log house at the end of a winding asphalt driveway.

According to Cline, officers, believing the suspect was still in the home, gathered at the top of the driveway. He and a VSP officer hopped in a VSP armored Bearcat and started down the driveway. A group of law enforcement officers followed the armored vehicle.

“We were going to negotiate, tell him to come out with your hands up, that kind of thing,” Cline said.

What officers did not know is that the suspect was hiding in the woods to the left of the driveway, pointing a semi-automatic rifle at them.

As the Bearcat approached the house and after the other officers had passed him, the suspect opened fire on the group, striking 15-year department veteran Sgt. Chris Coleman just past his bullet-proof vest, two inches from his spine. Another bullet grazed Chief Deputy Charles Foster in the right arm. Metal that bounced off the Bearcat when it was hit by a bullet burned the area near the eye of Corporal Jennifer Brewster, the first officer to spot the suspect in the woods, according to Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan.

Officers quickly shot at the suspect, striking him multiple times.

“Everyone was well-equipped, thank God,” one deputy said.

“We are lucky we don’t have three or four dead deputies today,” Dunagan said Wednesday, adding that alcohol was probably a factor in the incident.

The Virginia State Police is investigating the shooting and will determine charges, said Cline, who drove Sgt. Coleman to the Wythe County Community Hospital in an ambulance as paramedics worked on the deputy.

A law enforcement officer confirmed that the suspect was involved in a domestic incident 10 years ago that is eerily similar to last night’s shooting.

According to a 2010 Daytona Beach News-Journal report, the suspect, then a Daytona Beach police officer, threatened to kill himself during a domestic dispute and told his then-wife that he would shoot other officers if they came into the residence.

In that episode, according to the report, the man fired a round through the ceiling of the home.

The suspect’s wife was able to take the two handguns from her husband during that episode collect her personal weapon and his service revolver, and run outside, the report says. Deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office were then able to coax the unarmed suspect outside where he was taken into custody.

According to the report, the man, a veteran, had been taking medication that treats major depressive disorders.

The Wytheville Police Department assisted the Wythe County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday, along with the VSP.

To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email mrothrock@wythenews.com

Wytheville Enterprise reporter Jasmine Franks contributed to this report.

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