The following is a list of high-profile murders and other disturbing criminal acts committed by Virginia concealed handgun permit holders in recent years:
Randy Newberry, 52, opened fire on Buchanan County Deputy Sheriffs as they responded to a 911 call about a larceny in progress
at Rogers Service Center on March 13, 2011. Newberry was armed with a high-powered rifle and fired on the deputies from a “sniper location” on a ridge line in the wood-line overlooking the property, killing two deputies (Cameron Justus and William Stiltner) and wounding two others critically (Eric Rasnake and Shane Charles). Virginia State Police and additional sheriff’s deputies tracked Newberry down and killed him when he pointed a handgun at them.
On January 28, 2011, the Chesterfield County Police Department responded to a 911 call from Michelle Ferris, who indicated that she was concerned about the welfare of her husband, Richard Ferris. At the end of an eight-hour standoff at the Ferris home, Richard Ferris fired on SWAT team members from his garage. Police returned fire and killed Ferris. During a search of the home, authorities recovered a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun, a 9mm Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, a 5.26mm ArmaLite assault-style rifle, a 5.56mm Colt M4LE assault-style rifle, a Kel-Tec .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun, a .45-caliber Springfield Armory TRP semiautomatic handgun, a Springfield Armory 1911 semiautomatic handgun and a 9 mm Browning CZ83 semiautomatic handgun. They also found an empty bottle of Alprazolam and five empty bottles of beer.
Ferris was a federally licensed firearms dealer and held a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia.
In a murder-suicide in Vinton, Virginia, Timothy Drew broke into the house he once shared with his estranged wife and killed himself after shooting his wife to death on September 24, 2010. Drew’s wife, Kimberly Drew, had filed for divorce twice in 2009 and was dating Michael Stegall at the time of her death. Less than a week before the murder-suicide, Drew drove to Franklin Country to find Stegall and violently attacked him. Drew was charged with assault after threatening to kill Stegall, throwing him to the ground, hiting him in the eye, and biting his arm.
Paul Warren Pardus
On September 16, 2010, Paul Warren Pardus was at Johns Hopkins Hospital seeing to the treatment of his mother when he suddenly became enraged and pulled a semiautomatic handgun from his waistband. Pardus shot orthopedic surgeon David Cohen in the abdomen, then engaged in a a standoff lasting more than two hours with law enforcement officers who surrounded the hospital. Pardus eventually shot both himself and his mother to death.
An investigation quickly revaled that Pardus was an Arlington resident who held a concealed handgun permit in the state of Virginia.
Wayne Meredith Latham
On September 11, 2010, Wayne Meredith Latham walked into Waterstone Pizza in Lynchburg, Virginia-a restaurant with a no-guns policy-and ordered a beer. When Latham reached into his pocket for his wallet to pay the bartender, his unholstered .45-caliber Glock 36 went off in his pocket, discharging a round into his leg. Latham, who suffered minor injuries, then walked out of the restaurant, but was soon apprehended and arrested by police. He violated Virginia law by consuming alchohol while carrying a loaded firearm.
Latham held a permit to carry a concealed handgun in the state of Virginia. He was convicted of recklessly handling a firearm and his permit was temporarily suspended for one year.
Robert Klosterman, 64, shot and killed his wife, Rebecca, on May 2, 2010 before turning the gun on himself. The murder-suicide occurred just days before the final hearing of the couples’ divorce proceeding. Klosterman ambushed his wife at her house and forced her to lie on the garage floor before shooting her in the chest. The combat veteran apparently blamed her for his failure to reach the rank of Admiral in the United States Navy.
In May 2005, Klosterman was issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Shortly after his wife filed for divorce in 2008, the permit was revoked as part of a short-term protective order after Rebecca alleged that Robert pointed a gun at her. After Rebecca failed to obtain a long-term protective order, Klosterman successfully appealed the revocation of his permit and had his right to carry a concealed handgun reinstated.
Colton Jack Luman
Colton Jack Luman, a combat veteran of three tours in Iraq, accidentally shot and killed his 9-month-old daughter Makenna Luman in their home on February 21, 2010. Luman, 26, was watching television and “dry firing,” i.e., drawing his handgun and aiming at candles on the wall. A round from the weapon discharged as he was preparing to reholster it, striking his daughter in the face as she sat in her high-chair eating fruit.
On January 25, 2010, Jose L. Avila, 57, pointed a 9mm Astra A-90 handgun (loaded with 14 hollow-point bullets) at two U.S. Deputy Marshals in Annandale, Virginia. Avila, a licensed anger management counselor and family therapist from Fairfax County, drove by the two men and brandished his gun because he believed they had parked their cars inappropriately outside an apartment complex. The Marshals chased Avila in his vehicle, pulled him over, and were able to subdue and arrest him only after using “U.S. Marshals Service defensive tactics.”
Court records show that Avila was issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia in 2005. Avila is now in federal custody on charges of assaulting a federal officer.
Christopher Bryan Speight
On January 19, 2010, Christopher Bryan Speight, 39, shot and killed eight people inside and around the home he shared with family members in Appomattox, Virginia. His victims were Lauralee Sipe, 38, Speight’s sister; Dwayne Sipe, 38, his brother-in-law; Morgan Dobyns, 15, Speight’s niece; Joshua Sipe, 4, his nephew; Emily A. Quarles, 15, Morgan’s friend; Karen Quarles, 43, Emily’s mother; Jonathan L. Quarles, 43, Emily’s father; and Ronald “Bo” Scruggs II, 16, Emily s boyfriend. More than 150 law enforcement officials descended on the house and arrested Speight in the woods nearby, but not before he was able to bring down a Virginia State Policehelicopter with a high-powered rifle. Authorities found 17 bombs on the property. They also recovered at least a dozen firearms inside the home, including three AR-15-style assault rifles and two Chinese-made Uzis.
Speight was removed as the trustee of the Appomattox County home in 2007 after suffering a mental breakdown. When family members met with him to discuss removing him as trustee, Speight talked about booby-trapping his bedroom. He also told friends he heard a zinging in his ears following the death of his mother in 2006.
Despite Speight’s long history of mental illness, he was able to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia in 1999 and renew it twice (in 2004 and 2009).
Early in the morning of January 17, 2010, Gerald Ung, a law student at Temple University, got into an argument and altercation with Edward DiDonato Jr., 23, in Philadelphia’s Old City. Ung drew a handgun and fired six rounds into the chest, shoulders, abdomen and hand of DiDonato, was was unarmed. The shooting was captured on video in front of Fox 29 s offices in the area. DiDonato has undergone nine intensive surgeries to repair his lungs, liver, intenstines, and colon.
Police reported that Ung, 28, held a concealed handgun permit from Virginia, his home state. He has been charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses.
Nidal Malik Hasan
On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a licensed Army psychiatrist, walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center on Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas. After yelling Allahu akbar, Hasan, 39, opened fired with a FN Herstal Five-seven semiautomatic handgun, killing 13 people (12 of them Soldiers) and wounding 34 others before he was shot by military police. Hasan sustained multiple injuries but survived. He faces 13 charges of premeditated murder in a military court. The shooting ranks as the nation’s worst ever on a military installation.
Hasan had openly opposed America s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and espoused extremist Islamic views. He was being monitored by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force because of emails he had exchanged with the radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki. The FBI was also investigating whether he was behind violent anti-American comments left on a website under the screen name of “NidalHasan.” On two separate occasions, officials from Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences met and expressed concern about Hasan’s behavior, which fellow students and faculty had described as “disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent and schizoid.”
In March 1996, Hasan obtained a concealed handgun permit in Roanoke County, Virginia, where he lived at the time. The permit was renewed in February 1998. The application for his original permit can be viewed here.
On May 5, 2008, Aaron Jackson of Stafford, Virginia donned a bulletproof vest and used a semiautomatic AK-47 assault rifle to kill his girlfriend, Lastasha Thomas. He then killed their two young children (ages 2 ½ and 1 ½) and himself with a handgun. Police found six handguns, the AK-47 assault rifle, numerous boxes of ammunition, a sword, and a machete in the family’s trailer where the murders occurred. The kitchen counter top in the trailer was crowded with empty liquor bottles. Family members cited stress from financial issues, relationship problems, and a struggle with a cocaine addiction as the most likely causes of Jackson s breakdown.
Authorities reported that Jackson possessed a concealed carry permit in the state of Virginia. He carrie[d] a gun with a holster underneath him, said another woman who was dating Jackson at the time.