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Posted July 21, 2012 | comments 46 Comments

Man killed in police shooting in Woodstock

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

A Shenandoah County Sheriff's deputy fatally shot a man after a disturbance at a Woodstock home Friday night -- the first shooting for the agency in more than 15 years, according to Sheriff Timothy C. Carter.

He said two police officers were slashed with a knife during the confrontation.

Carter didn't identify the man killed on the front porch at 330 Shaffer St., but a crying woman who drove up to state troopers near the scene at about 11:20 p.m. said, "I'm William Long's wife," and said he was the man who'd been shot.

Carter said Deputy Tom Frazier assisted Woodstock police in responding to a disturbance at the home shortly before 9 p.m.

"There was a male subject on the front porch that was causing the disturbance," he said. "They tried to subdue him, and a scuffle ensued."

Frazier was cut in the neck and arm, and the laceration to his neck was thought to be "pretty extensive," Carter said. He said Frazier was taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Woodstock police officer Heath Painter was cut on the arm, Carter said. According to a release from the sheriff's office, another town officer, Matt Rhodes, was also injured.

Frazier shot and killed the man, the sheriff said, and he would only confirm the man was 34. Carter said he and Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley have asked the state police to investigate the incident.

State police spokesman Sgt. F.L. "Les" Tyler, identified the man shot as William Henry Long, 34, of Woodstock.

Yellow crime-scene tape blocked Shaffer Street at its intersection with West Spring Street late Friday night. Numerous police vehicles, as well as crime-scene vehicles, were parked along Shaffer Street.

Various neighbors said there were children who had been camping out in a tent that could be seen in the home's side yard. Relatives came to collect some of the children throughout the evening.

About an hour after the shooting, a young woman standing in front of a car on West Spring Street could be heard sobbing into a cell phone, "He's dead. He's dead."

Angela Russell lives on West Spring Street several houses south of the corner with Shaffer Street. She described what she witnessed.

"I heard shouting," Russell said, adding she then heard police sirens.

"[Another neighbor] and I came up here [to the corner], and we were standing right here and we heard [officers] Tase him twice, and we heard him say he was going to mess somebody up, and that's when we heard the two gunshots," she said. "That's when [the neighbor] and I screamed and took off across the street. It's so weird because those folks are so quiet. You never hear anything out of them."

Russell, who has lived on West Spring Street for 13 years, said a couple and two or three children lived at the house, and more children were in the yard.

"The kids have a tent out up there," she said. "They were having a sleepover. I didn't see him fall. I heard those Tasers. I heard those [gunshots]. It stunned me."

People sometimes make fun of police officers, Russell said, but, "tonight, I think they were tested."

46 Comments |

    Tested? They are obligated to "Serve and Protect." Most hired officers are locals with a home-towne education (or it used to be), but when it comes to push-comes-to-shove; heritage shows up!! When it becomes a situation of "you or me," guess who wins.. Do I want to go home and spend time with my wife and children, or do I want you as a maniac and waste my complimentary life to society to make that choice.. DUH!! Bury him without honors; he didn't honor you nor life.. Reggie Arno Danville VA..

    Ah geez, Reggie! Were you there? Do you have a dog in this race? The details are vague, at best, to this point. A family lost a son, father, brother, an uncle. A family is dealing with their loved ones' injuries. A man has taken another man's life. Alot of emotional scarring for all involved. And here you chime in with a bunch of babble that doesn't make sense. Have some couthe. Sit back, sip your coffee, read your news, and shut up!

      Thank you Rudy0279... well said. If those of you with all the answers had any sense at all, you'd let Law Enforcement sort out what did or didn't happen with this terrible situation! You would pray for the deputies that were put in that situation & forced to make decisions at the speed of light that no officer ever wants to make! AND you'd pray for the family of the man who died. NONE of those involved will ever be quite the same again. To those who have the answers for everything in Shenandoah County... from a new jail to a Police shooting; try shutting up for a change and being sore because you lost the election. Quit being "mouth puppets" for every subject that hits the newspaper.
      You know who you are and so do we!

    Well said Rusty, certain things need no comment.

    Well said Rusty, certain things need no comment.

    Spot on Rusty! Thanks for putting this tragic event in perspective. This is a great community and 'life' hits us in many ways. Our Lord will sort this out and watch over the families always.

    I am pleased the police officers survived. They are very valuable people.

    I do not think, however, that we should be glad that a man was killed.

    I should like to quote an old friend of mine when he said, "For every situation, there is an easy answer -- it is probably wrong."

    Well put, Allen P.!

    Police training is light years from what it was a few generations ago -- yet there are times one must draw their weapons.

    Most cops go through their careers without needing to fire -- let along kill someone.

    When they do, it stays with them forever.

    Sad story for all involved.

    "...first shooting in 15 years," shows we don't have a force of gun-slinging-we'll shoot you if we can," officers in this area. That second or time the officer would hesitate might end his/her own life, so sometimes it's necessary. I pray for peace for all involved. I'm curious to know if alcohol and/or other drugs were involved; or was it that ages-old problem of allowing ANGER to take control?! God Bless our community and God Bless America.

    I am confused by a few items in this story but I will wait and see what is said when more information becomes available. Just trying to understand how someone with a "pretty extensive," cut to the neck area manages to shoot someone twice? I am glad the police are safe but why wasn't he rushed to hospital, I am sure there were plenty of other officers available after almost 2 hours?!?!?

    Just my thought.

    There are to sides to every story, one side we will never know. The officers had every right to protect their selfs, but the man had a knife, not a gun. Why didn't the officers shoot him in the hands, arms, legs to bring him down? Why did they have to kill him?

    Now we're thinking, little76! My thoughts exactly here, but like jellybean_22664 writes well know more as time passes and details emerge. I am confused as to how he was tased 2x and not brought down...? He want a big guy. Not trying to stir the pot, but I definitely hope some of these questions get answered.

    To all of you who think the law enforcement officers acted out of line and with excessive force. Do me a favor stand in a uniform and respond to this call. Ask yourself what you would do if there was a man with a knife and your neck and arm were cut. I applaud the officers who responded, and I thank them for the service they provide our community. It is a shame that a man lost his life. But he chose the path that ended his life.

    I KNOW BILLY SAW HIM AT MY SONS GRADUATION
    NOT A BAD GUY BY A LONG SHOT NOR WAS HE A BIG
    GUY ,NOT BIG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND "what is it
    50,0000 volts in those tazers" times two . We all know
    What happeded!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUT RAGED I AM. GOD PLEASE
    BLESS BILLYS FAMILY. WE KNOW THEY ARE HURT!
    As for everyone else who was stabbed? And released
    With in hours or what not GOD WAS THEIR HE SAW U.

    this guys home wasnt picked at random, police were called there. the only thing reported by a witness who was a few houses down was that he heard a taser....i been around tasers and they dont make that much noise and there was two stabbings. i wonder what comments would be posted had good ole william survived and one of the officers were killed

    I have never felt compelled to comment on an article until I read this article and the subsequent comments. After much thought on the matter, I decided to create an account so that I could do so.
    My condolences to the family and friends of this young man. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding this incident, Mr. Long, his family and loved ones do not deserve to be discussed publicly in a negative manner.
    However, after reading many of the above comments, I am infuriated by the lack of respect that is being shown to the officers involved. None of the readers/citizens were present during this situation. Most of the readers do not have a clue about law enforcement. We were not there so please stop passing judgment on those involved and questioning how the matter was handled. Law enforcement officers do a thankless job and are the subject of scrutiny on a daily basis. The pay does not justify the requirements of the job, many making barely more than minimum wage. Police officers work varying shifts, overnights, weekends, and holidays. They are working outside in the 100+degree weather and are out on the icy roads when most people are safe in their homes. They go to work not knowing what they will be faced with at any given moment. They may respond to a simple call that can turn violent and deadly within seconds. When a police officer goes on duty, he/she may not return home to see his/her loved ones – all at the mercy of someone else. Police officers do all of this to protect our community, our families, and our children. They make many sacrifices on a daily basis that go un-noticed and are under-appreciated. Then when there are incidents such as discussed in this article, many citizens feel that “they know best” and judge ruthlessly.
    Please – stop judging and questioning those involved. Let the family grieve in private and leave this officer alone.

    Police training kicks in in situations like this. They are trained that if they draw their weapon and need to shoot, shoot to kill not wound. No judgements should be made about the officers or Mr. Long we weren't there and have no idea what was going on. Like others have said we need to let everyone involved have privacy.

    I live here an know how petty the police are issuing
    Tickets for anything to make the town a dollar .i once
    Got a tickey from an officet on a wensday for driving
    To church on sunday 300$ only drove cause wife was sick
    An want to have my kids in church everyweek.didn't
    Matter to cop or judge just the $they could take away from my fam

      Stop whining about the local police, if you didnt give them cause for a ticket you wouldnt have got one... Dummy!
      Maybe you should have stayed in school a little longer, or, god forbid, gotten yourself a college education? That way you could at least pay for your tickets.

    None of us were there and don't know hat really happened. It is tragic that a man lost his life but for people to even suggest that the police deliberately killed this man are crazy. Maybe this gentleman was high on something. We don't know because we weren't there. Didn't you ever hear never believe anything you hear and only half of what you see? The police officer did what he had to do. I personally know the one officer and he is a very kind young man who would not hurt someone just because he could. I guess some thing the police should have let him keep stabbing and cutting them. And for the person that said God saw what you did, yeah he did but guess what? He also says you should not judge.

    What's sad here is all the bad mouthing of law enforcement, . What are you people thinking bad mouthing law enforcement who still have one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. Let's play role reversal here a minute, one of these days you people that seem to want to bad mouth police and have NO CLUE what its like to respond to calls and have your life placed in danger. See these are the guys that respond to dangerous situations while you sleep safe at night in your home and regardless do a pretty damn good job of doing so. So what if you all bad mouthing have had run-ins with police then stop speeding or breaking the law!!! What if there was no law enforcement? then what? what if that deputy decided to take his time responding to the scene and someone lost there life because of it. The fact is still the same No ONE knows what really happened and STEVER is right the officers WERE CALLED THERE FOR A REASON!!! AND IM PRETTY SURE HAD THE OFFICER OR DEPUTY BEEN KILLED ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS WOULD BE SWITCHED AROUND!!! Simply put its not easy for a police officer to make a call to shoot someone without himself or others being in danger. I have seen many people on drugs or alcohol for that matter withstand many taser shots.

    I am confused by some of the comments on here.Twice I read about this guy having a bad night. Did he have a medical condition that would make him become violent? I assume he became violent because someone called police and he stabbed 2 officers. One man is dead, would it be better if 2 officers were dead,or maybe a couple of children also? We need to have more details before passing judgement. I did not know this person, but I dont believe he was shot and killed by this officer unless the officer felt in that second, no other alternative. This reminds me of the incident in Strasburg with Officer Joey Miller. So many comments were made that caused pain to both the family of the deceased and the officer. We should only be expressing condolences to all involved. We do not have enough facts to do anything else.

    Im not passing any judgement only experiance
    And I do the third most dangerous job on earth
    Rip to BILLY and may GOD SOOTH hia family.

    Just wondering, What is the 3rd most dangerous job on earth?

    To clarify my position...I do have questions, but do not mean to infer that the officers acted out of line.

    The primary reason a story such as this inspires so many to respond is because incidents like this rarely occur in our area and when they do it seems alien to everyone. On a national level this is not an uncommon occurence. It's no different than the way people in South Carolina react when they get 6-inches of snow and close schools for a week, meanwhile people in Pennsylvania don't understand what the fuss is all about. Anyone who reads the national news understands that these things happen from time to time. Thoughts and prayers to the families of all involved.

    What gets to me is all the comments on a certain social network saying "awesome job" or "great job" to the officer/s involved. Do they not stop to think the man who was killed WILL have family and loved ones who will read that. I understand that was what they are trained to do. I can comprehend "shoot to kill" in a gun situation but a knife?? There are so many different speculations for a situation like this. What if the "young officer" as referred to by earlier comment, was negligent...made a mistake?? I just can't justify a killing. Majority of the further enlightenments that will follow this article will mainly be opinions and the officers at the scene's word.

    First - as previously stated most of you all are missing the fact that obviously the officers were called to the house for a reason. And if the man had a knife to start with there was a serious reason.

    Second - they are taught to use less means of force first. If there were 2 attempts to taser the subject and they failed AND 3 officers that were injured and cut/stabbed in this incident AND the subject was still coming after them, what would have happened if the officers had not have reacted the way that they had? Who is to say the male subject wouldnt have harmed a child or someone else in the house? Then they would have been bashed because they allowed a bystander to be injured.

    Third - he may have been someones son, but so are those officers. They are someones friends, sons, fathers, husbands. They have every right to go home to their family as well as every person out here. They put on that uniform and badge everyday to help the citizens of this county. And how do they get repaid? By people judging them and bashing them because of a situation they know NOTHING about?

    Fourth - We should respect the job that was done and have faith in the officers that were involved. It seems from the article that there were plenty of witnesses to this particular incident, so it would seem we do not have to go on the officer's word alone.

    This is a horrific situation by all means. As an EMS provider it is never pleasant whenever there is any violence ending in a death. Seeing as 911 was dispatched for law enforcement to what seems to be some sort of domestic situation according to the paper,all responding units have a duty to first protect themselves, the surrounding area then the suspect. They must use every possible means of controlling a situation before resulting the drawing and use of a weapon. They train on these types of situations religiously in the beginning of their career as well as throughout their career. I can assure you as far as that goes that no officer would unjustly take such actions as occured with this situation unless they had no other choice to protect themself and those around them. I can also assure you that the decision to draw and fire a weapon had nothing to do with who this who this person was or their history but everything to do with what was happening at that precise moment. It is unfortunate that someone regarless of who they were had to loose a life over it. I agree with several of the comments above in the fact that the deceased and his entire family need to be given the privacy they deserve to grieve in private and peace. Nothing has been said but it seems they were not directly involved in the incident and do not deserve any hateful comments toward them nor do they deserve to have to read or hear about their loved one they lost. In mirror the officers deserve the same respect in not having to read or hear hateful comments about them. They also have families and children who read this as well as other social networking sites. It's situations like this that can cause fights between children at school or in neighborhoods because one parent or friend did something to someone elses parent or friend. They feel they have to protect those they love and if it involves taking their anger and frustration out on someone who is close to them they sometimes do. This is already becoming a vicious hateful revolving circle and it needs to stop for the sake of all those who were involved. May God bless all those involved and may he give comfort to all as well on both sides.

    A knife...a gun...both are in fact deadly weapons. If 3 officers are injured from knife wounds, the subject was obviously out to harm or kill someone. The officers did what they are tained to do. God Bless all involved.

    They say there are 2 types of people: fight or flight. Police officers are "fight" they are trained to protect not only citizens but also themselves. I can't imagine a physical confrontation were there would be time to examine a wound to the neck to determine if it was fatal. That being said, if someone were to cut me in such a dangerous area I would see it as an attempt on my life and may have taken the same action to protect my life. I'm not condoning the actions of the police officer and I'm not condemning Mr. Long, but unless you were there in their shoes you really can't say what was right or what was wrong. Sometimes good people make bad decisions and put themselves in situations with consiquences they didn't deserve.

    If a weapon of any kind is used in a crime, law enforcement needs to protect themselves and others no matter what.
    Maybe if more criminals were shot and killed the jails wouldn't be so overcrowded and the taxpayers wouldn't have to foot the bill for their trials and a new regional jail.

      kill all criminals so if you get a speeding ticket and the police discover you are a habituatial offender police should shoot you right on the spot bc it would be a waste of money to put you in jail?? last time i looked it was innocent until proven guilty! sure do hope for your family's sake you never get pulled over!!!!!

    ok so yea either get stabbed or protect HIMSELF....
    geee just wth would he choose, You know I lived in woodstock sadly and I had quite afew of trashy irresponsible neighbors that had no respect for others, their property or themselves and obviously this person had a problem, the police were called, I agree with above true he was a father BUT OFFICERS HAVE FAMILIES TOO!!!.... I can honestly say this I am so glad when I moved from woodstock, the nonsense of the less couthe population there is undaunting to deal with day after day..... and it sickens me to the deliberate unintelligent remarks people have made on this page for this situation and I think this article SHOULD BE revised, its making this guy sound like a saint...HE CAME AT A COP WITH A KNIFE AND STABBED HIM!!!...

    Def not sunday school church material there....

    And heres a random thought what if he went at the FAMILY versus the cops....would we be making him appear as much of a saint then??

    The kaisers of strasburg may keep me me from my popeyes chicken but I can say this...I AM EVER SO THANKFUL I AM AWAY FROM THAT TOWN AND THOSE TYPES OF PEOPLE....

    my prayers to the officers involved who were DOING THEIR JOB and may they get peace of mind for it and be LEFT ALONE....

    and KEEP YOUR IGNORANT MINDS AND MOUTHS SHUT!, NO ONE WHO COMES AT AN OFFICER WITH INTENT TO HARM WITH A WEAPON IS A SAINT IN MY BOOK!

    My Family would like to thank everyone who has sent us so many prayers and well wishes. These are our friends and family who knew billiam for the man he was and the man he will always be in our hearts. As a first hand eyewitness to this tragic situation i hope noone ever again has to expierence the pain and disbelief my family is dealing with right now. I could answer all your questions but i knew billiam and what he would say is F!!! them who cares what anyone thinks. So as a family we have decided to let the investigation be completed and then you will have your answers. For all you haters go home hug your familys tell them you love them you never know when that could be the last time. We are very happy to know the officers involved are well and would like to tell them our prayers go out to them.

    4mykids your post is so right on and I want to thank you for posting. Everyone should read your post again you said everything that needs to be said.

    I don't think a many people have any idea what a police officers job is like. I want to say that I have gotten three speeding tickets in the last 10 months and I have not bad mouthed any of the officers for writing me. I was speeding every time I got stopped. I deserved all three tickets and if I end up walking a while its my faught. I just can't belive that people are posting things against the people that work so hard to protect us.
    I also belive we have the right to our own opinion but I think this intire feed should be removed untill all the facts are known. This type of communication is hurthing a lot of people. I hope we all will pray for a
    ALL familys involved and we can keep our opinions to ourselvs.

    I have promised myself for years that I would never respond to some of the comments that are made on this website, but some of you back seat drivers need a lesson in "real life". First of all, I will say that this is a terrible situation for all involved, the officers and their families and Mr. Long and his family. I will also say that the NVD has never had a clue as to what information is needed in an article and what is not.With these things said, a man in his normal mind does not attack a police officer, much less three officers with a knife under any circumstance, that is just not what a "sane" person does! There was obviously something going on with Mr. Long's mind on this tragic night. But, you idiots that ask why the officer didn't just shoot him in the hand because he "only had a knife" are out of control! As a former Infantry Marine, and a former Police officer and the current head of safety and security for a large company, I can tell you without hesitating that a knife is more deadly in close quarters than a gun and obviously if three officers were cut regardless of how serious their wounds were, Mr. Long was out to hurt or kill someone. He may not have done something like this on any other night, but on this particular night...he did! With that said, with the only facts that we all have at this point, the shooting was justified. Do you people really believe that the officers that responded to this call went there wanting to take a life? As a former police officer in the Shenandoah Valley, I can tell you that there are certainly some things that go on there and everywhere else in the country that are true with the "good ol boy" ways, but in 11 years of law enforement there, I never met an officer that wanted to do anything but protect it's citizens....Good ol boy or not! You can kill a man with a knife quicker than you can a handgun in close combat, so give me a break. Unless you have lived it or seen it, then keep you're mouth shut. I also know Deputy Frazier well and know that out of all the officers in the area, Deputy Frazier is one of the last ones that would want to inflict death or even harm on anyone! But, I also know that he is very smart, and I'm certain that he did what he needed to do to go home to his family. THAT IS THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO DOWN IN A WORSE CASE SCENARIO LIKE THIS!!! To Mr. Long's family, may you find comfort in each other and in God during this difficult time. My prayers are with all involved!


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