GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – After the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office said deputies shot and killed an armed suspect following an incident Saturday night, neighbors and friends of the man are sharing their thoughts on what happened.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to a call for help involving an armed subject around 5:25 p.m. in the 7000 block of Ark Rd. Deputies say they received information that an armed suspect was attempting to break into a residence.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they encountered the suspect walking down the back steps of a home. Deputies gave verbal commands to the suspect who then produced a gun, pointed it at officers, and fired, according to the sheriff’s office.
Officials said deputies then returned fire. The suspect was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect, identified as 52-year-old Willie Dion Giles, died of his injuries at the hospital.
Officials say no deputies were injured during the incident.
The deputies involved in the incident have been placed on leave pending the conclusion of the investigation, which at this time has been handed over to Virginia State Police.
Neighbors, friends react to shooting
David Wilkinson lives next door and heard the shots.
“My granddaughter’s bedroom is right there,” Wilkinson said as he points at his house.
Wilkinson said deputies stopped by the check on his family, but he was only worried about his neighbor.
“She’s a lovely lady,” Wilkinson said. “That was our first concern, is she OK, after we saw what transpired. I communicated with her yesterday after church and said, you OK? You need anything? We’ve taken care of each other.”
10 On Your Side’s investigative team found that Giles was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery in 2018. Court documents were not available Monday to give insight on what happened over the weekend.
The news has so many in the community speaking out because Giles was a big supporter of Gloucester Youth Baseball. The league shared a Facebook post about his impact.
Wes Robbins, a Gloucester County baseball coach, reached out to WAVY-TV 10 to share more about Giles.
“He’s been an influence in my life as a coach, and he’s been an influence on countless numbers of children in Gloucester County,” Robbins said.
Robbins said he last saw Giles at a scrimmage game Saturday ahead of the shooting.
“Unfortunately, to this point that was the last conversation I had with him,” Robbins said.
Robbins added that Giles had shared a concerning social media post.
“Many of us saw a post that he made on social media and maybe didn’t give it the attention we should have,” Robbins said.
Now Robbins is wondering what he may have missed.
“All of the things go through your mind [like] is there anything that I could have done as a friend is there anything we should have done as a group, as a community, as a coach… regardless of what comes out later, there was more good done by Willie than anything else,” Robbins said. “There are many children that will carry on with their life being affected by him in a positive way.”