REIDSVILLE — A man who shot an alleged burglar outside a Reidsville business was acting in self defense, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said Monday afternoon.
Jesse Ray Walker, 28, of Reidsville, is dead. He was shot early Monday morning outside Hall Well & Plumbing on Flat Rock Road by Steve Hall. According to Page, Hall lives next door and is vice-president of the company.
During a press conference Monday, Page said Walker was shot in the torso.
Hall was awakened by an alarm shortly after 3 a.m. When he went outside, Page said, he saw Walker and another man, Brandon Joe Hanks, pushing away rolls of copper.
Hall told the men to stop, Page said, at which point Walker charged at him. That’s when Hall fired.
Walker ran a short distance before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Page said.
Hall did not attend the press conference. Calls placed to the listed phone numbers at Hall’s home address and at the business were not answered Monday. A deputy posted outside Hall’s home next to Hall Well & Plumbing turned away a News & Record reporter.
A neighbor described Hall as a “good-hearted” person who once served as chief for the Monroeton Volunteer Fire Department.
The neighbor, masonry contractor Wesley Moore, also said a community watch was recently formed in the neighborhood in part because of the recent break-ins at Hall’s business.
“I can’t really say I blame him (Hall),” Moore said. “You’re depending on these materials, equipment for your livelihood, and for the most part he was standing his ground and doing what anybody would do. He’s a good person, but he was just looking after his own space.”
According to Page, Hanks was arrested at his home Monday morning, and implicated himself and Walker in the break-in. Page said Hanks fled after Walker was shot.
Hanks is charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and felony possession of stolen property.
He is being held at the Rockingham County Detention Facility on a $75,000 bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for July 22.
Page said that both he and Walker had criminal records.
Hall Well & Plumbing had been burglarized three times in the past four months. Last week about $1,600 worth of copper was stolen. Page said Hall was preparing to put up a fence and that the alarm was installed because of the recent burglaries.
It is not known whether the two suspects involved in Monday’s alleged burglary were also responsible for the previous thefts. Page said there were similarities between the incidents but did not elaborate.
“He chose to step outside to see what was going on and then came back,” Page said. “His wife had notified the 911 system, and then he went back out… but he still had the right to protect himself.
“Under the Castle Doctrine, I think every person has the right to protect themselves,” Page said, “particularly when they’re at their residence.”
Page described Hall as “concerned, like anyone else would be when you have to take a life.”
No charges are pending against Hall at this time, Page said.
Update 1:25 p.m.
WENTWORTH − Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page identified the men who allegedly broke into Hall Well & Plumbing early Monday.
Jesse Ray Walker, 28, of Reidsville, was shot and killed at the business. Business owner Steve Hall shot him with a shotgun after Walker charged him, Page said.
A second suspect was later arrested. Brandon Joe Hanks, 27, of Reidsville, faces charges of felony breaking and entering and felony possession of stolen property, Page said.
Hanks is being held in the Rockingham County Jail on $75,000 bond.
Page said both Walker and Hanks had criminal records, but he doesn't know if they are the same people who broke into the business previously.
Page said it appeared Hall acted in self-defense and doesn't plan to charge him.
Update: The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office has announced that the second suspect in the copper thefts in Reidsville has been arrested.
REIDSVILLE - A man was shot and killed this morning during a suspected break-in at a business on Flat Rock Road in Reidsville this morning.
Officers are still looking for another man who is suspected in the break-in and who fled the scene.
The shooting occurred shortly after 3 a.m. at Hall Well & Plumbing, according to the Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page.
Page said the business owner, who lives next door, heard alarms going off in the business and went to investigate. At first he didn't see anything, but he checked back and saw two white men rolling spools of copper wire out of the business, Page said.
There was a scuffle and the owner shot one of the burglary suspects, Page said. Page did not release the name of the business owner or the men involved in the burglary attempt.
The business has been burglarized three other times in the past four months.
Last week, $1,600 worth of copper was reported stolen from the business.