Fatal shooting case heading for grand jury

The case against a Mount Jackson man accused of fatally shooting a woman with a stray bullet was dropped Friday in Shenandoah County General District Court, but the final outcome may still be a long way off.

Shawn Jason Nicely, 37, of 1521 Fravel Road, could still face one or more charges when a grand jury convenes in April in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristen Zalenski said after the hearing that she decided to drop the case for now after receiving “some additional information” about the shooting. She refused to give details about the information.

“We anticipate presenting it for indictment at the April grand jury,” Zalenski said of Nicely’s case.

For now, Nicely is no longer facing a charge of reckless handling of a gun while causing serious bodily injury, the offense he was charged with a few days after he allegedly shot and killed Gina Shoemaker at a residence at 37 Charlotte Lane near Mount Jackson on Nov. 23.

Officials with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office said at the time they found no evidence of foul play in the death of Shoemaker, 47.

Authorities said Nicely was target shooting 936 feet from the residence occupied by Shoemaker and several family members at the time of the incident. Court documents state that the residence was located behind the target used by Nicely and obscured by a wooded area.

Investigators say Shoemaker died from a single shot fired from a 30.06 rifle. Law enforcement officials recovered 30.06 bullets in the residence where Shoemaker’s body was found and in the surrounding trees and outbuildings.

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