Hanover deputies: Mom set fire, assaulted son with axe

Posted at 10:23 AM, Feb 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-25 08:18:34-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Investigators have arrested a Hanover mother in connection to a fire Thursday morning that sent her three children to the hospital.

Kimberly K. Shepperson intentionally set a fire inside her home, located in the 8200 block of Bultaco Trail, according to Hanover County Sheriff's Sergeant Chris Whitley.

Additionally, investigators said Shepperson assaulted her 11-year-old son with an axe before setting two fires with the intent to kill her son, as well as her two daughters and herself.

"The first thing I thought about it, it was just an accident," neighbor Sonny Allen said. "I didn't think it was somebody that had done something as horrible as that to their own family."

"I am a grandfather, a father and a member of this community, and it's just devastating to even think that somebody could be that despondent," Richard Atkinson said. "It's just amazing that people can get that down that they want to take their life," he added. "Take your life, leave the children. They need to live. They got their life to live."

Shepperson was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and arson. She is being held at the Pamunkey Regional Jail without bond pending arraignment Monday at Hanover County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Curtis Shepperson, who owns the home that caught fire early Thursday morning, told CBS 6 News that his 11-year-old grandson suffered cuts and second-degree burns.

The Hanover Sheriff’s Department said earlier this week that Shepperson and her two daughters were able to escape the home through a window, but they boy was saved after two deputies entered the smoke-filled home and pulled to safety.

“It was amazing that he went in there to get him,” said Shepperson about whoever pulled his grandson out. “I really appreciate it very, very much.”

Whitley said in a news release Saturday that the 11-year-old is recovering at VCU Medical Center.

Shepperson's two other children, ages 7 and 10 months, were released from the hospital earlier this week and are being cared for by relatives.

While neighbors are asking why this happened, their thoughts and prayers are with the Shepperson family.

"We're sorry for such a thing, you know," Allen said. "We remember people like that in our prayers every night."

"Our hearts go out to them," Atkinson said. "I just hope that they can bring the family back together. Thank goodness everybody survived it."