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'All around good person:' Halifax County man allegedly shot, killed by his daughter remembered

Shelley Thornton charged with second-degree murder

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Addressing the media Friday, Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark shared new details about how Shelley Thornton was arrested after reportedly shooting her father, Jim Thornton, multiple times with a .38-caliber revolver outside his home Thursday.

Her father was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Family members, witnesses, had put out a description of the vehicle the suspect may be driving," Clark said.

A sheriff's deputy responding to the home for the reported shooting saw the vehicle crashed near the intersection of Tobacco Road and Cody Road.

Shelley Thornton was found about 300 yards away under a carport of a home and arrested.

"She pretty much gave up. She appeared to be somewhat confused," Clark explained.

State police are investigating the crash, but Clark said speed was likely a factor.

Where she was going is unclear.

"We feel like it sparked from a domestic situation, but we're still investigating," Clark said.

Jim Thornton was a long-time volunteer at the Thrifty Fireman thrift store in Altavista.

"Jim was a hoot," manager Carolyn Cowart said when asked about Jim.

Cowart said she didn't know about his death until 10 News called Friday morning and asked to speak to someone at the store.

"(He) always had a smile on his face, joking around; easy going, liked everybody. He knew everybody that came in here," Cowart said.

Cowart said Shelley volunteered there with her father.

"She was kind of quiet, withdrawn. She had some health issues that (forced her to stop volunteering)," Cowart explained.

Family members declined to be interviewed Friday, but said Shelley was mentally ill and said this is a "tragedy that has destroyed our lives."

Shelley is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.


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