SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – The Sussex County Sheriff’s department is investigating after an elderly couple was found shot inside their home after an apparent home invasion.
Deputies responded to the home on E. Church Street just before midnight Tuesday.
When authorities arrived less than two minutes after the initial call, the garage door and an interior door to the house were found open. A couple in their mid-70s, identified as Judy and Dan Baldwin, were found shot inside the home.
The woman was found dead in a bedroom, and the man was found shot in the chest in the living room. He was taken to a Richmond hospital and is in critical condition.
JoAnne Daughtry Dunker, a neighbor, told 8News that she and Judy grew up together. From first grade through high school, they remained friends and even sat next to each other at church each Sunday. Then, as adults, they became neighbors.
“She was a wonderful person who would do anything for anybody,” Daughtry Dunker said. “Anything you needed Judy would do it.” They were both salt of the earth wonderful people.”
Daughtry Dunker said Judy had a large family and that she and Dan did everything from book club to church together.
“It’s very bad,” Daughtry Dunker said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a horrible nightmare that I wish I could wake up from.”
Sheriff Giles told 8News that he has known the victims’ family for over 30 years and even went to school with their son.
“They were the pillars of this community… especially Ms. Judy,” Giles explained. “She was one of the mothers of this community.”
At this stage of the investigation, Giles said authorities believe it was a random robbery that led to the shooting. Giles said jewelry was found in the garage but told 8News that nothing else was taken from the home. The sheriff did confirm an uptick in reports of break-ins.
“When you see something say something,” Giles encouraged. “We need your support. We need you all to be vigilant in the community and talk to us and let us know what’s going on.”
Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the two suspects.
The suspects are described as being between 25 and 30 years of age, one with a slender build and the other with a medium build. Both were described by police as having a light complexion.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.