Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 26, 2012

Suspect in shooting sought

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

SPRINGVILLE, Va. — A search was launched Thursday after Tazewell County 911 was told by a Springville resident that an intruder had shot him with his own gun.

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office was notified 11:45 a.m. about the reported shooting at 259 Melrose St. near U.S. Route 460, Sheriff Brian Hieatt said at the scene. Behind the yellow crime scene tape cordoning off the property, detectives and deputies were working in and around the house. Hieatt came out to speak with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and other media.

Christopher “Shane” Tibbs, 41, called Tazewell County 911 at 11:45 a.m. and said an intruder had shot him, Hieatt said. Tibbs was conscious when deputies arrived.

“He was sitting at the kitchen table, bleeding,” Hieatt said. “He was coherent and he talked to us.”

Tibbs had been shot once in the back along upper shoulder blade area with his own .22 caliber revolver, Hieatt said. The homeowner told detectives that he was in the basement when he heard a noise, investigated, and found a male intruder dressed in camouflage and wearing a mask. The person then fired the gun, dropped it and fled on foot; Tibbs did not see a vehicle leave the area. Hieatt said one of the home’s doors was unlocked at that time.

Tibbs was taken to Bluefield Regional Medical Center where he was in good condition, Hieatt said.

The sheriff’s office brought its mobile command center to scene, and the Bluefield, Va., Police Department dispatched its tracking dog to aid the search. No arrests had been made as of Thursday evening.

Hieatt said his department had not received any reports of previous break-ins around the Melrose Street area. Neighbors watching the scene from a distance also said that burglaries have not been a problem.

One neighbor, Vonna Arbogast, 65, said she had lived in the neighborhood for 10 years. Seeing the deputies down the street was a surprise when she came home.

“I was petrified. I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “We’ve never had any problems at all.”�