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Neighbor remembers Danville homicide, officer-involved shooting victims as good people

Richard Towler shot, killed by police; Crystal Averett found dead inside home

DANVILLE, Va. – We are now hearing from a neighbor of the home in Danville where a woman's body was found following a deadly police shootout.

According to police, officers responded to 1069 Halifax Road around 12:45 a.m. Sunday for a report of shots fired.

Officers said that when they knocked on the door of the home, Richard Towler, 54, shot at them from inside the home.

A short time later, they said Towler came out of the home and shot at officers.

Officers returned fire and Towler was killed.

When officers went inside the home, they found Crystal Averett, 38, dead.

"I was sad, because (Richard) was a good man. I don't know what caused him to go ballistic like that," neighbor Pail Pyles said.

"(Averett) was a good girl, too," Pyles said. "She used to give me rides back and forth to this...store up the street," Pyles said.

Pyles said he appreciates the officers' actions.

"I'm not going to say that's what should've happened, but I'm happy somebody stopped (Towler) from doing whatever it is he was going to do."

Both deaths remain under investigation.


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