Hopewell BBQ owners attacked, husband shot in driveway

Posted at 3:16 PM, Feb 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-12 15:16:27-05

HOPEWELL, Va. (WTVR) – The owners of a popular Hopewell restaurant were attacked – and one of them was shot – Friday night after returning home from a long day of work.

Steve Nugent, the victims’ son, talked to CBS 6 News’ Sandra Jones Saturday about what happened. He said someone attacked his parents, Kenny and Linda Purdie, who own K&L Barbecue in Hopewell, in their driveway.

“An assailant came around with the gun… told my mom to get down on her knees at the back of the truck in the garage,” said Nugent.

Next, Nugent said his mother yelled for her husband and he was then shot when he got out of his truck.

“He turned around and got shot in the upper chest area to the shoulder which broke his collar bone,” said Nugent.

That is when Nugent said his father grabbed a gun from the truck, chased the assailant out of the garage into the backyard “and unloaded the gun 16 times.”

Next, Nugent said the gunman opened fire a second time and then ran off.

Police believe the motive for the crime was robbery and that the couple may have been a target.

In fact, Nugent said the assailant was waiting for his parents to get home behind their house. He also said the gunman could be linked to other area robberies.

The attack on the owners of the restaurant, which has been a staple in the Tri-Cities for years, left the community in shock.

People who know the couple said they are dedicated to their job.

“They give people a value for their money that’s hard to find these days,” said Appomatox River Peanut and Wine Company’s Randy Sealey, who has known the Purdies for over a decade.

“They’ll get a lot of community support because everybody loves them and loves the restaurant,” said Sealey.

“You don’t realize, until a situation like this happens, just how many people you have out there that really care for you and everything,” said Nugent. “We want to thank those folks for being there for us this time of our family need.”

Family members said Kenny Purdie is recovering in the hospital and should be released in a few days.