Two dead, two injured in Martinsville officer-involved shooting

Published: Feb. 6, 2021 at 5:36 AM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Two people are dead, with another two in a hospital being treated for critical injuries after shots were fired late Friday night at El Norteno Restaurant in Martinsville. No officers were injured in the incident.

According to State Police, an argument began in the bar area of the restaurant that escalated quickly into an incident that left a 23-year-old man and a 33-year-old man, both of Martinsville, shot and dead at the scene.

A third man left El Norteno on foot, but was followed by two armed people into the parking lot of the restaurant. The two with guns began firing at the other, leading to the shots being overheard by a Martinsville Police officer in his vehicle while on patrol nearby.

The officer approached the two men who were firing and shot at them, hitting one with his gunfire. Both shooters then retreated back into El Norteno, according to police.

According to Police Chief Eddie Cassidy, “We had an officer respond in which people were engaged in a gun battle at the time he engaged.”

The man who initially ran off and was being shot at in the parking lot was not injured in either shooting.

Martinsville Police, Virginia State Police and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to enter the building and secure the restaurant. About a dozen patrons and 20 employees were rescued by law enforcement after they were trapped inside with the two shooters. No further shots were fired in El Norteno, according to police.

Police found the two men who died from the initial shooting and a third wounded male victim during their search of the building. Another wounded male was found nearby.

The two victims’ remains were taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. Their names will be released when families are notified.

Virginia State Police are handling the investigation, since a Martinsville Police officer was involved.

Another shooting at a nearby gas station shortly after the restaurant incident is being investigated by the Martinsville Police Department.

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