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Former cop fires on deputies in Charlotte standoff / February 13, 2013
By Robert Benning

Charlotte Gazette editor
Reprinted with permission

A former Farmville police officer opened fire on Charlotte County deputies and a Virginia State Trooper during a standoff Saturday afternoon on a farm along Old Mill Road near Keysville.

According to a report from the Virginia State Police, the incident began to unfold at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday when State Police, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and local firefighters responded to a residence along George Washington Highway near Eureka Baptist Church following a report of a residential fire.

Firefighters from Keysville, Charlotte Court House and Drakes Branch found a small blaze inside the basement of the home, but managed to extinguish the fire before it could spread to other areas of the residence. The basement sustained fire damage, and the remainder of the home suffered smoke damage.

Upon investigating the incident, authorities initiated a search for Timothy A. ‘T.J.’ Long, 34, of Keysville, in an effort to question him concerning the fire. Long allegedly had previously made threats and was believed to be a person of interest concerning the fire.

Long’s wife lives in the home where the fire occurred, but no one was home at the time of the incident.

Further investigation led state police officials and members of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to farmland along Old Mill Road just over the Charlotte County line in Prince Edward County. The farm was located just a short distance from the Abilene crossroads.

Long’s truck was spotted there, and as deputies and a trooper approached the vehicle, Long retreated further back onto the farm to a point where the vehicle was nearly out of sight.

At that point, authorities on the scene heard two gunshots, and three law enforcement personnel moved toward a barn on the property for cover when more gunshots were heard.

Bullets reportedly struck several trees near the officers. Luckily, none of the law enforcement officers at the scene were injured in the shooting.

With the shooter out of the line of sight, officers did not return fire.

Long reportedly retreated even further onto the property and a perimeter was established by law enforcement personnel — including Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office deputies responding to the scene — around the property to prevent him from escaping.

The State Police went on to say that at approximately 5:20 p.m., Long surrendered to troopers without incident.

Long was charged with four counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer and four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He is currently being held at Piedmont Regional Jail.

The shooting incident remains under investigation.

The investigation into the house fire also is underway by state police at this time. No one was injured in the fire, which has been ruled arson. Charges are pending.

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