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Across town, residents awoken by hail of gunfire

South Boston News
Bullets pieced the passenger side of a Chevy Equinox SUV belonging to Ray Duffey of Ellyson Avenue, South Boston. / May 20, 2019

The Town of South Boston was the scene of not one but two gunfire incidents in the nighttime hours of Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Some three hours after three persons were shot on Glendale Drive in South Boston Friday night, residents along Fenton Street and Ellyson Avenue across town were startled by a hail of gunfire that broke out around 1 a.m. Saturday. Several homes were hit by bullets, and a Chevy SUV parked in a private drive off Ellyson was pocketed by pistol fire. No one was hurt in the shooting spree.

South Boston Police do not believe the two incidents are related, said Cpt. Mitch Bowen.

“We do not have a motive for either yet,” he said.

Neighbors reported hearing the shots, at first unsure what was going on outside along the narrow street. Ray Duffey, who lives at the corner of Ellyson and Fenton, said at first, “We thought someone was hitting on the window real fast.”

When the noise continued and it became apparent that shots had been fired in the neighborhood, Duffey and other members of his household went outside and found spent cartridges in his driveway. Two bullets opened holes in the passenger side of his Chevy Equinox. Other bullets hit a brick column support on his front porch.

“It was so many bullets … it was something else. Like a little war,” he said.

Across the street, Crystle Powers was staying the night with her daughter and granddaughter at their house on Fenton when she heard the shots outside her bedroom. “At first I thought it was a car backfiring,” said Powers. But the crackle of gunfire continued — “real fast-fire gunshots,” she said — and it quickly became clear what was going on. “I heard seven to eight shots, easily,” she said.

Her granddaughter, Kaitlyn Mason, looked out onto the street and reported to family members that she saw two men running up Fenton Street, headed in the direction of North Main. They were shooting at each other from a close distance, separated by a mere few feet. “I was surprised there wasn’t a body lying in the street,” said Powers. “Somebody must have been a bad shot” to miss at such close range.

“It was really scary,” she said.

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting. Anyone who has information about the incident or persons involved is urged to contact the SBPD at 434-575-7273 or call the Halifax County Crimeline at 434-476-8445.

Persons providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction may be eligible for a reward.

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