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South Boston man charged with attempted murder after brandishing gun at Verizon store

South Boston News
Bates / August 09, 2021
A South Boston man has been arrested and jailed on charges of attempted murder and reckless handling of a firearm after he allegedly stepped inside the Verizon Wireless store in Centerville on Friday and pointed a handgun at two store employees.

Elroy Bates Jr., 40, of Edmunds Street in South Boston, entered the 4106 Halifax Rd. store around 6 p.m., according to South Boston Police. Witnesses stated Bates came inside and pointed the handgun at two of the Verizon employees. The suspect allegedly pulled the trigger of the handgun twice but the gun did not fire. Witnesses stated Bates fled the scene in a gold-colored Ford pickup truck.

Minutes later, officers found the suspect vehicle at a residence on Edmunds Street in the town of South Boston. Subsequently, Bates was taken into custody without incident. A search was conducted of a vehicle in the driveway of the residence and a firearm, thought to be used in the incident at Verizon, was located.

Police say the incident may have been centered around a domestic dispute.

Bates was arrested and taken before a magistrate. He was charged with felony possession of firearm by a convicted violent felon, two counts of attempted murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony reckless handling of a firearm, concealed carry of a weapon, and brandishing a firearm. The latter two charges are misdemeanors.

Officer Dennis Blanks Jr. was the arresting officer. Bates is being held without bond.

The South Boston Police Department would like to thank the citizens of South Boston, members of the Virginia State Police, and the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

Additional inquiries related to this case may be referred to Lt. Tiffaney Bratton at 434-575-7203 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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