Mayor: First double-homicide in Blackstone in half-century

Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-05 20:18:09-04

BLACKSTONE, Va (WTVR) - Big news traveled fast in the small town of Blackstone.

"I got a phone call last night while I was over my pastor's house," said longtime resident Lawrence Jones.

Jones received a call he never expected. The caller told Jones about a double homicide that happened inside a home on Pickett Court, Wednesday afternoon. The victims were a man and a woman, three-months pregnant. Detectives said both were shot multiple times.

"I think I know the guy personally," said Jones. "I don't know all the details and I don't want to know. Just got to keep them lifted in prayer-the family. It shows things happen."

Police are still sorting out exactly what happened inside the house on or before July 4.

"I've never seen nothing like this before," said longtime resident Ralph Knight.

The crime quickly became the talk of the town. Investigators said it was a concerned neighbor who found the couple's lifeless bodies.

"It doesn't happen here, it doesn't happen here," said Knight. "It's strange."

The crime is strange and uncommon, according to Blackstone Mayor Billy Coleburn.

"This is the first double-murder that I know of that comes to mind immediately since the 1950's," said Coleburn. "I may have missed one, but I believe since 1953, the first double-homicide in Blackstone."

The investigation continues on how big city crime invaded the small town.

"Someone sent me a text saying two people were shot and killed in Blackstone and I said 'No, I have a police scanner; I've not heard that,'" said Coleburn. "I said it must have happened in Richmond. But then my phone started blowing up and someone said there was a house with tape around it, and I knew then that it was true."

A neighbor told CBS 6 Reporter Wayne Covil the couple was not from Blackstone, but were from the area. They reportedly moved into their Blackstone home three months ago.

A family member also told CBS 6 News the male victim has a six-year-old son, who was not home at the time of the shooting. The family member, an aunt, said she was grateful the young boy was not home, otherwise she's fearful the killings could have turned into a triple homicide.

Blackstone Police said they are following up on several leads, although they are not saying if they have any possible suspects.

Virginia State Police are assisting with the investigation.

If you have any information that could help investigators, you are urged to call Virginia State Police at 804-674-2000; or Blackstone Police at 434-292-3322.


Stay with CBS 6 News and for continuing coverage of this story.