TIMBERVILLE — A Broadway man shot in a confrontation with police is now accused of trying to kill three Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies.

John William Woods, 28, was previously charged with felony attempted murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the shooting of Dale Lee Reed, 47, of Timberville.

On Monday, a Rockingham County grand jury tacked on 10 charges, including three felony counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer and two more counts of attempted murder.

Following the indictment, Woods appeared in Rockingham County Circuit Court, where Judge Bruce Albertson scheduled a jury trial for Feb. 5.

Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson declined to comment because the investigation was led by the Virginia State Police, which is normal protocol for the department when a deputy is involved in a shooting.

State police couldn’t be reached for comment.

The investigation began at 1:18 a.m. on May 7 following a 911 call of a disturbance at Superior Performance, an auto repair shop at 241 McCauley Ave. in Timberville.

As deputies were responding, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center received a second 911 call about a Dodge Dakota pickup truck having rammed a house at 153 Bellevue St.

Police say deputies and a Timberville officer arrived at the Bellevue home to find Woods sitting in a pickup truck armed with a handgun.

Woods opened fire as three deputies approached the truck, police say. A deputy returned fire, hitting Woods multiple times.

Deputies responding to the business on McCauley Avenue were prompted by additional 911 calls to go to the Walmart on South Main Street. There they found Reed suffering from at least one gunshot wound, according to court documents.

Both men were taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville for treatment.

A series of court documents suggest the man Woods is accused of shooting that night wasn’t his initial target.

“Multiple messages discuss John’s intention to kill someone that same evening,” according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed July 9 in circuit court by the state police.

Instead of comments toward Reed, his Facebook posts focus on men he believed were linked romantically to his 21-year-old girlfriend, Whitney Eshbaugh: Justin Hedrick and D.J. Southerly.

Shortly before the shooting, Woods sent a message to Eshbaugh stating: “I’m tired of this Whitney. I got the name and the license plate. Midnight he dies tonight and it’s on you for [being a] conniving woman.”

In another message to a third party, he states: “[Expletive] her and him. I should kill them both.”

Another message states, “I don’t want her to hurt but we see Justin Hedrick isn’t cared for either by her. Whitney was just seen at Walmart with arm around D.J. Southerly.”

Woods, according to the affidavit, then posted on Facebook, “$200 cash reward for this man’s address. You will be rewarded after what I have is served.” It’s unclear which man Woods was referring to.

A previous affidavit for multiple search warrants in the case states Reed, Christopher Morris, 25, and Crystal Smith, age unknown, were at the garage when Woods arrived. The two additional attempted murder charges were filed because Morris and Smith were in the room when Woods opened fire.

Morris told police that he was working on a vehicle with Reed when Woods pulled up in the pickup truck. Morris, according to the affidavit, told police that Woods returned after leaving for a brief time, rammed his truck into the garage doors and started shooting. At least one bullet struck Reed.

Reed, Morris and Smith fled the scene and went to the Walmart about a half-mile away to call police.

Police say they believe Woods thought that Reed returned home so Woods went to there to confront him again. According to Rockingham County property records, Reed owns the home on Bellevue Street.

It’s unclear what Woods did between the time he’s accused of shooting Reed and when he went to Reed’s house. It’s also unclear why police believe Woods thought Reed went home when he went to Walmart.

Court documents state Woods told police that he believed Reed was holding Eshbaugh hostage.

He also told investigators that Reed “is a known drug dealer and is stashing a large amount of narcotics inside his shop ... under the vehicle lifts,” the affidavit states.

According to inventory logs, no drugs were found at Reed’s shop.

Police, however, seized suspected drugs from Reed’s Bellevue Street home. They also seized a shotgun, pistol, two rifles, multiple magazines and seven boxes of ammunition.

Police also seized a Winchester 9 mm Luger and bullet fragments from Woods’ truck.

Woods is being held without bond at Rockingham County Jail.

Contact Pete DeLea

at 574-6267

or pdelea@dnronline.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.