By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 22 — Shots rang out like a string of firecrackers at the Page Convenience store in West Luray shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon during what was reportedly a hostage situation.
“Get down, get down on the ground,” Luray Police Chief Bow Cook and other law enforcement officers yelled at more than two dozen bystanders as he walked toward the scene on West Main Street shortly after a flurry of shots rang out.
Fire and EMS vehicles sat across from the Mimslynn Inn as police had one block of West Main Street barricaded off at the intersection with Memorial Drive (leading to Page Memorial Hospital).
Page County First Alert posted that a male with a rifle was barricaded in Page Convenience. State police tactical units staged for the incident at the VSP headquarters adjacent to Whispering Pines Assisted Living. A tactical vehicle loaded with men armed with rifles and tactical gear arrived on the scene minutes after the shots were fired.
Traffic was being rerouted, and traffic was being stopped further up Main Street after the shots were fired. Page Memorial Hospital was put on lockdown.
Reports also indicate that the male suspect holding people hostage in the store was killed by law enforcement during the fire exchange, but that has not been confirmed.
The identity of the male suspect is not confirmed at this time, although several bystanders seemed to know his identity.
It is not certain at this time how long the standoff with police went on before shot were fired, or if any of the hostages or law enforcement were injured.
Page Valley News will follow-up with more details as they are made available.
This is tragic. It occurred across from our house. The whole situation is recorded. Some of the information you have published is false. The first paragraph.. No shots were fired until the end of the standoff. Bo Cook did not yell at any bystanders..there was none around. They had already closed off the street. Stories tend to change and people like to say things to make others look involved or more important. A young man lost his life because he was mentally distraught and needed help. That is the facts. May we try to help others in the future. So it doesnt end like this.
I was at the scene and reported what I saw right in front of me. The bystanders were up the street by the barricade. Bow Cook was standing a few feet away from me. The shooting was reported as happening at the end of the incident, although in the initial report, we did not know how long the standoff had gone on for – but we updated that last night in the follow-up. A tragic and sad situation indeed.