More family violence in Virginia - 3 Dead and 4 wounded

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Thread: More family violence in Virginia - 3 Dead and 4 wounded

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    More family violence in Virginia - 3 Dead and 4 wounded

    Authorities say 3 dead, including gunman, and 4 wounded in shootout in central Virginia

    Published August 23, 2010

    August 23: Major Donald Lowe Chief Deputy of the Louisa County Sheriff's department, speaks during a news conference along with Sheriff Ashland Fortune in Louisa, Va. A gunman opened fired Sunday during a domestic dispute, killing two people and injuring four others before he was killed by police. (AP)

    LOUISA, Va. A man who shot and killed his son and nephew and wounded four other relatives had been involved in an ongoing family dispute over a piece of property in a rural central Virginia neighborhood, authorities said Monday.

    Sheriff's deputies had been called to the property nearly two dozen times in recent years including once earlier in the day Sunday before Charles P. Steadman Sponaugle, 52, opened fire on his family members, Louisa sheriff's Maj. Donnie Lowe said.

    Sponaugle fired at two deputies and unleashed his pit bull at them before deputies responded, fatally shooting both Sponaugle and the dog, said Corinne Geller, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman.

    Deputies had been called out to the property around 2 p.m. Sunday and a dispute was resolved. But they were called again around 4:45 p.m. when Sponaugle opened fire with a .22-caliber semiautomatic target pistol, Geller said.

    Sponaugle shot and killed his son, Charles P. Steadman, 29, and nephew Mark A. Cooper Jr., 23. Also shot were his sister, Kitty L. Cooper, 41; brother-in-law Mark A. Cooper Sr., 45; and nephews Gerald A. Steadman Jr., 26, and Jason C. Steadman, 27.

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    That happened just one county over, not too far from where I live.
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