Roanoke County police announce murder investigation, search for woman
Police say a woman died and two people are under arrest after Saturday shooting
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County police announced Wednesday that they're investigating a murder that happened Saturday.
They said they’re still looking for someone involved in a robbery that ended in the shooting death of Amber Ross, 35, of Franklin County, who died from one gunshot wound.
Police said they arrested two people Tuesday in Roanoke. Aaron Witcher, 27, of Roanoke, faces a murder charge, while a 17-year-old boy faces conspiracy and robbery charges.
Police said the incident happened just before 11 p.m. Saturday on Overland Drive in the Cave Spring area in south Roanoke County. They said those two suspects barged in to rob the people inside.
Investigators said there was a struggle between one of the suspects and a man living in the house.
The suspect reportedly pulled out a gun and, later, the gun went off. They said the man who lives in the home took Ross to the hospital and she was in critical condition when she arrived.
Police said Ross was not a part of the struggle that happened before the shooting and she does not live at the house.
Investigators said another woman, Shamby Walker, 37, was also in the house when the alleged robbers arrived. Police are still looking for her as of Wednesday night. She’s facing charges for assisting in the crime, but not for participating.
Police ask anyone with information about Walker to call them. They said she has brown hair, is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 280 pounds.
Police said she has a connection to the two alleged robbers and she ran away with them that night.
"It appears this was an isolated incident, that there was a specific reason that the two males showed up at the house,” said Mark Tuck, Roanoke County police detective commander.
Police said there’s no danger to the public.
The man who lives in the house and struggled with one of the alleged robbers spoke to 10 News Wednesday night. He didn’t want his name to be public or his face shown on-camera, but he explained what he believes happened inside the house.
He said he was shocked to see the alleged robbers come inside the house. He said Witcher, the man now under arrest, had a gun drawn. He said they struggled and Witcher pushed him away. He said, at that point, he got down on his knees with his hands in the air and begged for his life.
He said he reacted by throwing his arm upward when Witcher pointed his gun closer to his face. He said that’s when the gun went off and the bullet grazed his head before hitting Ross, who was behind him, trying to get away. He said the bullet hit her in the neck.
He said he’s not sure if Witcher fired on purpose, which would have been an attempt to kill him, or if the gun went off accidentally after the two made contact.
He said he doesn’t know the two people under arrest and doesn’t know why they wanted to rob him. He added that he thinks the woman police are looking for, Shamby Walker, set him up and told the suspects when to arrive.
Neighbors told 10 News police searched the area for many hours Saturday night and Sunday, into the afternoon. They said police told them they were looking for a weapon.
One neighbor said he was surprised to see SWAT team members surround a nearby apartment.
"I've never seen SWAT in person before but they had the shields out. They had everything. They looked like they were going in for someone who was armed and dangerous,” said neighbor Joseph Johnson.
He said police spent many hours over the weekend around the apartment complex, speaking to people who live there and looking like they were searching for something.
Police said there have not been any past criminal incidents like this at the Overland Drive house. 10 News found that Witcher has a long criminal history that includes drug and weapon charges.
Police would not confirm or deny if drugs were involved or whether the man living in the house will face charges stemming from the incident.
10 News asked Roanoke County police why they waited four days to send out the information about the murder case. Tuck said it took investigators a while to get all the information in order.
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