Man charged with firing pistol near homes while drunk

Darrell Hamm

Authorities accused a Shenandoah County man of firing a pistol into a wooded area near several homes while intoxicated late Saturday night.

Deputies arrested Darrell Orval Hamm, 33, of East Creek Road, Toms Brook, on Sunday and charged him with being drunk in public, reckless handling of a firearm and discharging a firearm in a public place, according to information provided by Maj. Scott Proctor, of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office. All charges are misdemeanor offenses.

Deputies responded to Hamm’s residence shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The initial call came into dispatch as a loud disturbance involving two people and “gunshots were fired,” Proctor said Tuesday. Deputies arrived and located Hamm.

“It was reported that the accused had taken a pistol and fired it basically with no backstop in the area of his residence, which is pretty much surrounded by homes,” Proctor said.

The report indicated that Hamm fired the 9 mm pistol into a wooded area from a driveway, Proctor said. Deputies took possession of the firearm as evidence, he added.

A preliminary breath test showed Hamm registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.113 percent – over the legal limit of 0.8 percent – Proctor said, citing the deputy’s report.

“Alcohol was a factor,” Proctor said.

No one reported injuries related to the shooting of the firearm, Proctor said, and there was no report of violence.

Deputies took Hamm into custody without incident and transported him to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail. Hamm was released on Sunday after a magistrate set his unsecured bond at $4,000.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com