NVDAILY.COM | Local News

Posted July 23, 2012 | comments 46 Comments

Man killed by police had prior record

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

The Woodstock man fatally shot by a Shenandoah County Sheriff's deputy Friday night had a history of violence, according to court records.

State police spokesman Sgt. F.L. "Les" Tyler confirmed Monday afternoon that William Henry Long, 34, was the man shot and killed by Deputy Tom Frazier.

Frazier was slashed in the neck and arm by Long before firing his weapon, according to Sheriff Timothy C. Carter. Frazier and several Woodstock police officers, were called to 330 Shaffer St. shortly before 9 p.m. Friday for a report of a man threatening people with a knife, Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley said.

Neighbors who overheard part of the incident described hearing officers deploy Taser devices on Long before he was shot. They also said children were camping in a tent on the property. Throughout the evening, several children were led off the street to waiting relatives.

Two Woodstock police officers were also injured in the confrontation, with one suffering lacerations from the knife wielded by Long, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Nearly four years ago, sheriff's deputies were called about an incident at Long's then home at 48 Bowman Lane, Fort Valley, according to a criminal complaint on file in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

According to the complaint, Deputy A.N. Springer responded to 208 Picadilly Street in Edinburg on Aug. 31. The complaint states that Spring spoke with Crystal Long, who said her husband William Long "threw her to the ground and stomped her in the head approx. 15-20 times" and then he put her "in the bathtub and turned on the water..."

The deputy observed multiple red marks on Mrs. Long's face and neck and on her arms, and blood coming from her ear, according to the complaint.

For that attack, a jury convicted Long of misdemeanor assault and battery in Shenandoah County Circuit Court, according to online court records, and he was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,500. He was also ordered to pay more than $3,700 in restitution.

In March 2010, Long was charged with violating a protective order involving his estranged wife, according to a criminal complaint. At that time, he was living in an apartment at 217 Center St., in Edinburg, according to the complaint.

The complaint, written by Deputy M.S. Miller, states Mrs. Long claimed Long had called her, threatening to break her car window, and a short time later, she found it had been broken. Miller also listened to a voicemail in which Long seemed upset about Mrs. Long's new relationship, according tot the complaint, and the deputy was there when Long called again.

After pleading guilty in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in April 2010, Long was sentenced to nine months in jail, with seven months suspended, according to court records.

Online Shenandoah County General District Court records indicate Long was sentenced to six months in jail -- all suspended -- and one year of probation in 2002 for destruction of property, was fined $25 for contempt of court in 2002, was fined $25 for public intoxication in 2002, and received a two-month suspended sentence and a year of probation for another property destruction charge in 2002. He also had several traffic violations, according to records.

Woodstock police and the sheriff's office have asked the state police to investigate the shooting. Tyler didn't release any further information on Monday.

46 Comments | Leave a comment

    Okay, Daily...really?!?! What exactly have you just brought to light here? Mr. Long deserved what he got? The kill was justified? That's kinda how it seems here. I'm not judging either way on the events that night leading to his death, but this reporting is unbelievable! I guess if I ever make headlines, I can expect you all to report on the ticket I received for defective equipment back in early 2000...which means i'm capable of what...grand theft auto?!?! Typical small town smut to me. (i'm ready for the rotten tomatoes to be thrown at me)

    I completely agree with you Rudy.
    This article sickens me. My very first thought was the Shenandoah County Police Department must have requested you print this trash. Good job NVD, the man that was killed, whose family is mourning him , was not a classy guy. Thanks for that steller reporting and shame on you.

    The killing wasn't justified because of his past record, it was justified when he sliced into a police officer with a knife in a rage. What is wrong with you!

    My prayers go out to officer Fraizer and HIS family.

    The only thing I got out of this is that there is a problem with our court system. Sentenced to jail time with a large majority of it suspended! Violates probation and still nothing! Maybe if sentences were carried out and people with major issues stayed in jail for the time given and received counseling none of this would have happened.

    So he is was not the saint protrayed by some in posts to earlier articles. A propensity for violence towards women. Wow, who would have thought. Real role model to follow (not)! At least my tax money isn't going to his jail time to learn how to be a more effective criminal. God Bless all the officers who responded that night and especially Officer Frazier and his family.

    oh stop the sob story guys. He's trash, any man who beats a women deserves punishment, especially their wife. He got out of jail time for multiple offenses and you all are crying "oh dem dur paper try make my bud lurk burd!" Cry me a river, want to know why everyone thinks Shenandoah county is full of white trash rednecks? Prime example right here, men who beat women deserve punishment.

      WOW! Maybe the kids in school will relay that message to his children when they are missing their father. The problem is the same self righteous, better than you attitude thats being displayed isn't just showing up here, its being passed on to your kids. You know, those spoiled brat, preppy, rich kids. Well at least they aren't white trash huh.

    What this story shows is William's violent past. If he would throw someone he "loves" to the ground and repeatedly stomp them, he would not have stopped until those officers were unconscious or worse.
    At Rudy0279 if/when you do make headlines the readers will want to know if you had a history of craziness. Good job NVD for showing us this history of repeated domestic violence. There is never ANY excuse for a person to cause bodily harm to another human being...EVER! Death is not the answer, however I am thankful there is one less ticking time bomb off the streets thanks to our police department protecting its citizens.

    "Okay, Daily...really?!?! What exactly have you just brought to light here? Mr. Long deserved what he got? The kill was justified?"

    What this article brings to light is that domestic abuse has affects on the whole community...it is not to be taken lightly. This man had a propensity for violence and our system is not equipped to handle it. There needs to be change. It isn't just a private matter, men that beat their wife's are criminals and need to be handled that way. Stomping on his wife's head! A year in jail, assault and battery? I don't think so.

    Some of you are a bunch of idiots with way two much time on your hands. What happenes to a woman if she beats a man? Thats Ok this reporting seemed to left that part out. Make your idiot remarks on half truths. Never not one time did William go at or pull the box cutter out to go at the police. They jumped on him knowing he had the weapon in his pocket. Did they do wrong I dont know I was two feet away and cant say that. Im not a trained police officer. He was a sad lost soul who needed help and unfortunatly it didnt come in time. At least not the kind of help we were trying to get him. So go back to what your mama used to tell you and if you dont have something nice to say then say nothing at all.

      If he had the weapon in his pocket the whole time, then how did the police officer's neck get slashed or the other two officers get cut? They were called there for a reason, m It is sad that people who knew that he had problems did not get him help but don't blame the officer's for acting in self-defense. If someone cuts my throat and I have a gun, you bet I would shoot them. It is called self preservation.

    Rudy 0279 - you couldn't be more correct! We live in such a negative society that reporters do not report on good news. They are 'rewarded' by feedback from the nitty gritty news. And unfortunately the majority of society is only interested in the bad. I've found that knowing facts on information reported on a recent event via the Daily, Star and worst of all TV3 - that no FACTS were gathered. Only hearsay - which made the individual being reported on appear in a way worse light than the reality was. The reporters are grasping at straws to come up with the most recent news and it appears they don't care if it is factual or it is not. Since then I read the local news for a laugh and that is as far as it goes for me - because I believe NONE of what is reported.

    I think that this article proves that it was a justifiable shooting of a wife beater with a propensity for violence. If all his "supporters" crying police brutality on here would have actually DONE something to help him instead of TRYING to do something, he wouldn't be dead.

      now now you know more people around here WHINE AND COMPLAIN rather then act, all these people said they would help him and such but I bet on a daily basis never even picked up a phone to talk to him...

      I STAND VERY FIRM on this point....he came at a cop with a knife A KNIFE.... why would anyone try to say hes a level headed person...

      WAITING FOR THIS: the daily or some other foolish pigheaded person on here to say he should have ran for mayor or green peace or the united nations or something.....

    Since Mr Long will not have "His day in court" (which already failed him) He will have his trial here in the "Court of Public opinion" This article is more about the failure of our society than about a particlular person's failure in society.

    LOL! Sorry but I have to laugh at some of these past comments made here and the other articles. I cant believe how anyone can compare a violent act of bodily harm and bloodshed to receiving a traffic violation.

    To correct right ringer our family is not crying police brutality my family is crying for compassion from the community , Compassion for the tragedy that happened children who will not have a Father, a brother and sister who is without a member of their family. A Mother and Father who will not have a Son. Compassion for the officers and the families of the officers that also have to deal with the tragedy of what happened. I guess my family is just asking for dignity and respect to put our love one to rest.

    To correct right ringer our family is not crying police brutality my family is crying for compassion from the community , Compassion for the tragedy that happened children who will not have a Father, a brother and sister who is without a member of their family. A Mother and Father who will not have a Son. Compassion for the officers and the families of the officers that also have to deal with the tragedy of what happened. I guess my family is just asking for dignity and respect to put our love one to rest.

      Oh the children! Oh the children! Do you know what is going on with them? With an abusive father, how do you know they are not happy the horror is finally over? Do you even know what domestic abuse is like? Do you know what it's like to live in fear of your own family members? Being afraid to go to sleep or wake up everyday? Wake up and stop defending the chump, what happened happened, we can't do anything about it, should he have deserved to die? Probably not, but he could have gotten another get out of jail free card and tortured his family even more.

    "Frazier was slashed in the neck and arm by Long before firing his weapon"

    Seems like Long was trying to take the officer's life? From my knowledge anytime you go after someone's neck with a knife you are trying to end their life? If he wasn't shot by the officers he would have probably been charged with attempted murder. Using a knife to threaten the officer to keep him away is one thing, but actually trying to slash the officer's "neck" seems like the officer's life was in great danger.

    You know I know all partys that were involved and it is a really sad that this happened. Billy was a troubled person when I knew him years ago, not a bad person just troubled. The officers involved, well lets just say that I don't think any of them would hurt someone "just because". We live in a world that likes to blame someone for what has gone wrong. Did any of you think about what Dep Frazier is going throught right now? Or how the family is handling all of this that has been printed in the paper. As the paper states the Virginia State Police is handling the incidnet, we should wait and see what they have investigated. The truth will come out. I just pray the family of William Long and all the officers involved will come to peace with this in there own way and not let the public opinions get to them.
    Praying for all that was involved.

    To all friends and family of WILLIAM LONG: Thank you for all the prayers and support we have recieved. On July 20,2012 my brother was shot and killed on my porch. LOVE YOU BRO!! Bill was a loving son, brother, dad and uncle. Each and everytime that man saw me he told me he loved me. Just wish I could have told him I loved him as much as he told me. Anytime I needed help around my house he was there. Always saying if there's anything else just call and I'll be there to help. BILLIAM would take his neices to the park and to the swimming pool. He loved his family and we love him so much. We can not judge him on the actions that took place that night. I know because I looked into his eyes that night. He was not the loving brother I've known for 34 years.Something was wrong. Billiam needed help and was attepting to reach out, unfortunatly it just didn't come in time. BILLIAM is in a better place now. He is now our family and friends GUARDIAN ANGEL. BROTHER I LOVE YOU AND WILL MISS YOU SO MUCH. To the officers know that the family is deeply sorry that you were put into a situation that I'm sure all of you hoped you would never have to face in your carreers. We are hoping for your speedy recovery's not only physically but emotionally too. We are praying for each of you and your families.

    I keep hearing "these kids now don't have a father". Well, what kind of father beats on women and tries to drown them??? I, for one, think his kids will be better off without him. As a son of a police officer, I always feared that my father would have to go through something like this, thankfully it never happened. This guy slashed a police officer in the neck, and appropriate action was taken. Prayers to the Fraizer family and the children of the monster who was shot.

    "I can expect you all to report on the ticket I received for defective equipment"

    If by defective equipment you are referring to your cognitive ineptitude and inability to make valid comparisons, then yes...

    Lord make me an instrument of your peace
    Where there is hatred ... Let me sow love
    Where there is injury ... pardon
    Where there is doubt ... faith
    Where there is despair ... hope
    Where there is darkness ... light
    Where there is sadness ... joy
    O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek ...
    To be consoled ... as to console
    To be understood ... as to understand
    To be loved ... as to love

    For ...
    It is in giving ... that we receive
    It is in pardoning ... that we are pardoned
    It is in dying ... that we are born in to eternal life

    While we do have our "Freedom of Speech", try to remember all parties involved in this tragic situation. Is the bashing really necessary? I don't think any of the family members involved would like to read this. Opinions are one thing, but there is a time and place. Just because the NVD posted the article does not mean that you need to log on and feed into this. How about having a heart... The county has not had something like this in about 16 years, and I am sure never wanted something like this to happen. I am sure that the family is mourning the loss of a loved one.... Leave it at that and perhaps offer a kind word, in my opinion, it goes a lot further than all of the bashing one another.

    For the families involved, I know its hard and you want to defend your loved one, but don't do it in this form. If you believe wrong was done, start tackling it legally. Don't say or do anything that may impact negatively on your case if you believe you have one.

    Let the trolls be trolls and bicker over their 2 cent opinions, because that's exactly what its worth. Feeding them only encourages more trolls.

    A man is dead..officers have been injured..this is all sad. I am a firm believer that there are 2 sides to every story. Judging Billy for somthing from his past is stupid. Whatever the reason that he faced domestic violence charges and served time, is neither here nor there. This was all a tragic and sad accident. Things went too far and a man, father, brother, son and LOVING uncle, crossed a line and lost his life. How dare people think they are better than Billy. Have you never done anything in your life that you regret. He had the love of family and friends which to me says alot. God forbid any one of you HYPOCRITES ever have to be on the recieving end of a bad situation. Many of you have children, and one thing i can assure you, no matter what your children do you will always love them, saying other wise makes you either a liar or a monster yourself. And half of you that are passing judgement on this situation probably go to church in which case i think you are forgetting Luke 6:37, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." And if you REALLY hold yourself to be better than GOD perhaps you are the one with issues. And another thing.. No matter what anyone "thinks" his children think.. Children love their parents regardless. It is nature. and if you believe everything printed in papers you should recall the article from the other day stating that he had been seen taking a baby for walks..don't sound to me like the monster you are all trying to portray this poor man. I know a few of the people in this situation and can assure you all that the Long family as well as the officers involved are all good people. No one "won" in this situation.. The Longs have lost a wonderful young man, who was trying to get his life on track, and the officers involved will all have a heavy burden to bare that can't be easy. To defend their own lives, they were forced to take a life, and that can NOT be an easy thing to live with.. So criticize my insight all you want, I can shoulder it,but please for the love of all that is holy, stop posting such negtive things. These people, all of them, from the officers, to their families, to the Longs and all these beautiful children that loved their father, uncle, and friend, they have been through enough. His brother has even offered the olive branch to try to make peace and still you people post things that are down right VILE.

    Here here, Moderate, here here!

    The bottom line is . . . people who attack law enforcement with knives, will get shot.

    I had many dealings with the Shenandoah court system as a business owner..I was constantly amazed at the leniancy of sentences there.If scum are not penalized,they will not learn.Folks ,you want to commit a crime? Come to shenandoah county,break laws and walk away with a lecture.Judge Morrison was a pro at it!

    There are so many angles to every box and we all are intitled to look at them differently. I didn't know anyone envolved in this incident,but the comments by "yourallidiots and Iamamonmofsnanaof8" are spot on. In this world of so much turmoil and hate isn't it our responsiblity to Love (god's greatest gift) one another regardless doesn't mean you like what they do.
    If you really feel your opinion is valid put it to use and help change what is wrong but only with a loving heart and to the benefit of all. We all fall short of making differences that could benefit others from time to time.
    There is way too much nasty in this world don't add to it.

    Prayers for ALL INVOLVED, especially the officers that were involved that night and their families, and for the young man's family. May you feel God's arms around you at this difficult time. This is a deeply troubling time for all.

    Special prayers for Deputy Frazier and his family. We appreciate you and our sheriff's department for service in our community every day.

    To those of you that are being so judgemental and cruel, how do you know that his family or friends weren't trying to help him? To his family, cherish your memories of the son/brother/uncle, etc., that you knew Billy to be.

    There's a lot to take into consideration here. Yes, there are children left without a father and a family left without their husband, son, brother, uncle, etc., BUT no man on this world should be doing all of this bodily harm to his wife who he is suppose to love and care for! It is not right for anyone to be beaten. If his friends and family knew that he needed help, how come they didn't take the effort to help him? That would be a question of mine.

    We were not the police officers on duty when all of this happened but I do know, that their job is hard! We have no idea what they see and what they go through when they are on duty. This guy had a knife and he hurt a few police officers and one seriously, that doesn't sound "level-headed" to me.

    Prayers to Officer Frazier and his family. Praying for a speedy recovery and God Bless all Law Enforcement and what they do to protect us.

    ok... NVD said "Neighbors who overheard part of the incident described hearing officers deploy Taser devices on Long before he was shot. They also said children were camping in a tent on the property." So, with that... if Tasers were used then why on earth did he have to be shot??? another... "Losch and his wife { Bobbie and Joseph Losch} 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.
    "Another neighbor and I {Angela Russell}came up here [to the corner, and we were standing right here and we heard [officers] Tase him twice, It's so weird because those folks are so quiet. You never hear anything out of them." I am not downing the officers but something is really off here... Also, there were children present and should have been removed before anything went on with altercation. Thank goodness the State Police will be doing an investigation on this matter... All of this is a very sad situation and I feel it was done to justify their means....My prayers do go out to all family's involved and the children who unfortunately had witnessed this and hope for the officers' a speedy recovery.

    and I guess Deputy frazier just flung himself on the knife,...

    and that he wasnt attempting to harm anyone with one...instead it was a fun noodle...

    IF HIS ACTIONS WERE MORE RESPONSIBLE cops would not have came, bottom line...

    I suppose if my house would get robbed and there be an article about that you'd want to take the convicted out to breakfast....or any other criminal for that matter...

    I feel badly for the children. Not because Billy was the greatest father on earth but because he was their father. Should we call them up and calm them by reminding them that their Daddy used to beat their Mommy? Should we leave proof (this article) for their Mother to show them when its time? Get a grip and don't be so sure that it wont be your child or father that is standing on that porch one day no matter how much money you have there is one thing that is for sure Shenandoah County is corrupt and full of ignorance. Its a sad but true statement. You can't trust most of the teachers, churches or police in it. Especially if you don't have money. Its like a pissing contest in this area. Most of the police now Billy went to school with- partied with- did drugs with or slept with (obvis not male I don't think he swung that way!). Billy used to be a young boy himself.. Probably chose the wrong route- didn't mean that he want to choose the right one or that he wasn't capable of it in his future. People should learn to respect the dead. Regardless of their path. I knew Billy as a young fun silly guy. I can hardly believe that he would have stabbed a police officer to death.. I am not sure as to why the NVDaily would post an article like this unless it was to make sure that we ALL KNEW how bad Billy was... So none of us would dare to think-- maybe the officer could have figured out a different way to handle this. At the end of the day I guess I would have been curious to know how this fight would have ended if the cops had a knife rather than a gun? Maybe they would have had to use an alternate route such as their brains rather than a gun. Or a tackle situation something a bit smoother than whipping out a gun. I guess that was a "last" resort! I do feel badly for the police b/c I don't feel like they receive proper training. They are straight out of highschool and I forget how many weeks of training they have to go through and bam they are handed a gun and a badge! Maybe this would have just been a good old country fight between the good guys and the bad guy had there been a little more thought put into this. Anyways I suggest we don't disrespect the dead.. as we all know Billy wasn't afraid of the other side you never know when he might make a visit back to this side! As for the Long family.. I suggest you hold Billy up high for his children's sake and look further into this don't let them screw your family like they did others the Shenandoah County PD did this to..

    "What happens in the dark shines in the light."

    You know I have tried not to comment on this but it's gone to far. Law Enforcement officer's aren't hired right out of High School and just given a gun. I know numerous Law Officers in Shenandoah County and the local towns. They go through months of training in the police academy and continue to train everyday they work. The incident the other night however tragic, it was in my opinion the only option available. I am not going to talk bad about Mr. Long however you people that continue to bash the police need to get a life. You all are the same ones that complain to the police because they don't get to your small complaints quick enough but when they get there say I know this wasn't important to even call you guys. Deputy Frazier and the Woodstock Officers involved in this incident did what they need to be able to go home to their families who are just effected by this incident as the officers involved. Officers are trained that you use force one step greater the the threat presented. If they have a knife then the officer has a gun. Believe me when I say i don't think any police officer goes to work and want to shot their gun or even worse kill someone but they also know that this type of incident can happen any time. They know that there are people out there that will complain when it has to happen. I'm sure that the Officers and the Deputy involved would rather get a thank you from people instead of " why didn't you shot him in the knee or arm". That statement alone is just ridiculous.Like in previous comments You can die faster with a knife in close quarters then if you had a gun. I just want to commend Deputy Frazier and the Woodstock Officers taking quick actions in this incident. For all we know those officers could of save numerous lives that night.Mr. Long was apparently out of control or out of his mind that night.Someone commented on the children in the yard and etc. what if something happened to the children or others. Guess all you that are blaming the police would still and say its the police's fault for not getting there and reacting quick enough. I think everyone needs to stop commenting on this story and wait for the investigation to be completed and them all you bad talkers will know the truth.

    I would like to say Thank you to the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Officer and The Woodstock Police Department for everything they do everyday to keep us safe". The police are very under appreciated, underpaid to have to handle some of the stuff they do daily knowing they may not go home at the end of their shift.

    GOD BLESS ALL THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WITH IN OUR COUNTY

    Lady, what you don't seem to understand is that you invited, and continue to invite, all of these responses by continually posting on here with your criticism of law enforcement and your defense of the man that was shot. You're well within your right to defend him, just as anyone else is well within their right to speak their mind. These are PUBLIC forums, that's what they are for.

    ok enough is enough..imamomof5andnanaof8..first let me express my condolences to you and yours..I to have been in this position..and as unfortuate as it was I never got angry and I never lashed out into the public media and continually criticized those who day after day protect you and your family..being a christian I forgave I no longer feel upset or angry I am at peace. My family lost a loved one I know Ive been there..with that said why do you people feel is necessary to lash out at the local law enforcement? You get upset when they do their jobs and you get upset when they dont? It doesnt work like that..they put their lives on the line everyday and every night to make sure you sleep soundly in yours and that when you wake up its a little bit safer on the streets. NVdaily..you had no right to make this man seem as if he was a monster..I did not know him and neither did you..you know him from his priors..and only his priors..are you saying that you guys and women in the news room never did anything you regret? Im sure you have. To everybody else..I am sure there are EMT here and firefighters and soliders..walk a day in their shoes..I have! and its not an easy job..but to sit there and say they are arrogant and that the town you live in sucks the big one because its corrupt..if you dont like it move! if you cant then be grateful that there are people who everyday put their lives on the line..walk a day in their shoes..you may or may not know what its like but until you do..dont bash them..if you dont like it do something..join a fire department or a rescue squad..become a police officer or solider.. become a voice in your town to change it if you dont like it..Im sure then you will be singing a different tune! and go ahead and bash me and my post..call me arrogant and one of them...I am practicing my first amendment right just like you are..this is a tragic and unfortunate event to EVERYBODY involved so instead of saying that the police are bad people and this young man whose life was taken is such a bad person remember that THEY ALL HAVE FAMILIES..pray for all those involved..

    So What happend to the police who shot him? How bad were they cut? Did they go to the hospital? Are they still in the hospital? Just curious on the "just cause" for the shooting.. We as a community have a right to know.. Don't we?


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