Front Royal man charged with attempted first-degree murder

By Joe Beck

Authorities arrested a Front Royal man last week and charged him with attempted first-degree murder and several related offenses linked to a shooting incident at a residence on May 26.

John Joseph Andrews Jr., 18, of 735 Megeath Farm Lane, is accused of firing off six shots at the home of John McDonald at 762 Old Dam Road, according to court documents.

Andrews appeared in court on Friday and has another hearing scheduled for Tuesday. He is being held without bond in the Warren County Jail.

A criminal complaint filed by Deputy S.M. Collins states he arrived at McDonald’s home to answer a report of shots fired at 1:59 a.m.

McDonald told Collins that Andrews had been drinking at his residence, began using “foul language” and arguing, the complaint states. McDonald said he asked Andrews to leave, according to the complaint.

Andrews responded by pulling a gun, pointing it at McDonald and telling him, “I will kill you,” the complaint states.

Andrews then fired three shots at McDonald, according to the complaint. McDonald ran through his yard and took cover behind a tree, the complaint states. Andrews then got into his Chevrolet Blazer and drove off, but McDonald stated he heard three more shots fired from the SUV as it drove down the driveway, according to the complaint.

Collins wrote that witnesses reported seeing two unidentified people with Andrews during the shooting. A subsequent investigation recovered two shell casings from McDonald’s residence and another shell casing within 100 yards from his home.

In a separate criminal complaint, McDonald accuses Andrews of appearing at his residence uninvited and driving his vehicle onto the front lawn. McDonald wrote that Andrews complied with the request and then “walked down to the campfire after a bit” and started screaming an anti-homosexual slur.

“I advised him to leave my property,” McDonald wrote, but the confrontation escalated until Andrews pulled out a gun and “pointed it at me.”

The complaint states that McDonald fled, and Andrews drove off in his vehicle while firing three more shots.

Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron said in an interview Monday that Andrews remained at large until Thursday.

“He was arrested last week,” McEathron said of Andrews. “He was not in custody until the time the warrants were served.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com