A Woodlawn man has been charged after a shooting on the New River on Saturday night near the Town of Fries.
According to the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, members of that department responded along with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police and Conservation Officers with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to a shooting that occurred on the New River just east of the Town of Fries at 9:30 p.m. Saturday evening.
“Witnesses told officers that four subjects were floating the New River in a 10-foot jon boat when their boat overturned near the old Fries Ferry,” the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “The two male subjects were involved in a confrontation when one of them was shot in the arm. The shooter fled the scene on foot. The victim was treated by members of Fries Rescue, and Deputy Brandon Phillips utilized a military medical tourniquet to stabilize the victim, who was then flown to Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.”
Approximately 25 law enforcement officers set up a perimeter between the incident scene, the low water bridge and the New River Trail, according to the press release. Trooper Cameron Keesling and his bloodhound, along with tactical team members from the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and Game and Inland Fisheries tracked the subject in high grass and weeds along the New River.
“Bobby Jones was the first to spot the subject lying in the high grass with a loaded handgun and (the subject) was taken into custody without incident,” the press release stated. “John Ford Gilliam, 47, of Woodlawn was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony and is currently being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.”
The victim is in stable condition. Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan commended everyone involved with the search.
“This was another great example of state and local officers working together as a team,” Vaughan said. Fries and Galax Fire Department provided infrared devices to assist officers with the search.