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Friday night shooting shakes neighbors

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A Shenandoah County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man after a disturbance at this home at 330 Shaffer St. on Friday night, according to authorities. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

Less than 18 hours after the fatal shooting of a 34-year-old man on a quiet dead-end street in Woodstock, there were few signs that anything was amiss.

A mailman delivered his post on foot on Shaffer Street Saturday afternoon, all of the emergency vehicles were gone, and neighbors sat on front porches.

In front of the house where the man was killed, 330 Shaffer St., two men and a woman could be heard talking. The men later walked around in the yard near a tent.

The woman declined to discuss the previous night's shooting in which a 34-year-old man was shot dead by Shenandoah County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Frazier just before 9 p.m.

Sheriff Timothy C. Carter declined to identify the man other than his age, but a woman who approached state troopers Friday night cried and said, "I'm William Long's wife," and said he was the man who'd been shot.

Neighbors also said the man was named Billy.

On Monday, state police spokesman Sgt. F.L. "Les" Tyler identified the man as William Henry Long, of Woodstock.

Frazier's shots came after Long had slashed him in the neck and arm, and Woodstock police officer Heath Painter in the arm, Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said. According to a release from the sheriff's office, another town officer, Matt Rhodes was also injured.

The three law enforcement officers were treated and released from Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

In a Saturday afternoon phone interview, Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley said three town officers -- the third was Tracy Plaugher -- and Frazier were called to the Shaffer Street home for a report of a man threatening residents with a knife.

Police were still at the scene at dawn on Saturday, according to Bobbie and Joseph Losch, who live three houses down from where the shooting occurred.

"It was a little after 6 when I came out this morning, and they were still down there," Mrs. Losch said.

The incident has left the parents of three boys ages 4, 5 and 11 shaken.

"I just thought it was kind of freaky," Mrs. Losch said. "Yesterday we heard on the news on the way to work the thing in Colorado."

She stepped out of her house to go pick up her oldest child from the roller rink when she realized Shaffer Street was blocked off.

"[Her 5-year-old son] came outside to leave with me, and he was perfectly fine...then, when he found out what was going on down the street he went in the house and was literally crying and shaking so bad that he made himself vomit," Mrs. Losch said.

The Losches used to live in the house right next door to the house where the shooting occurred, and had met Long, who they referred to as Billy, then.

Losch said he'd known the other man had had some trouble and had spent time in jail, but said he seemed to be in good spirits when he saw Long with an infant about six months ago.

"He was pushing a baby," Losch said. "He has a new child."

He said Long was a bricklayer and had been staying with his brother on Shaffer Street, but didn't know if he lived there permanently.

Losch and his wife both described the people living at 330 Shaffer Street as being "very family-oriented," hosting birthday parties and decorating for Halloween.

"They're nice people," Mrs. Losch said.

Neither heard any commotion Friday evening.

"We didn't hear nothing," Mrs. Losch said. "We came outside, and it was like, what's going on?"

Her husband said he'd noticed curiosity-seekers coming down their street Saturday.

"The traffic has picked up phenomenally," he said. "I'm seeing all kinds of cars I don't recognize. They creep up."

Losch said had his family socialized more with the neighbors three doors down, they could've been at the scene Friday night when the trouble started. He said the other family would often play cards on weekends.

"It makes you leery," Losch said. "It's unexpected that that level of craziness [could happen]. Now I'm even more leery of my little ones running around."

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