75-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in Henry County shooting

Shooting happened on Philpott Highway

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Henry County authorities have released the names of both the victim and suspect involved in Thursday morning's deadly shooting.

Mack Watkins, 55, of Spencer, Virginia, was shot in the chest, according to the Sheriff's Office. First responders tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Maj. Eric Wynn, with the Sheriff's Office, said the shooting is the result of an argument between the victim and the suspect, 75-year-old William Matthews, of Spencer, Virginia.

”At this point, we believe it to be domestic related. We think the suspect spotted the victim here pumping gas and stopped,” said Wynn.

At about 11:25 a.m. a Virginia State Police trooper saw Matthew's vehicle traveling West on Philpott Highway.  

State Police, along with deputies from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and Matthews was taken into custody without incident.

Cell phone video from an employee at a gas station about a mile away on Highway 58 West showed Matthews, being arrested at that gas station about an hour after the shooting. 

"The witness that was here with the victim was able to give out the name and the description of the vehicle," said Wynn. "Virginia State Police was in the area helping us and one of the troopers spotted that suspect vehicle.”

Matthews faces charges of first-degree murder, using a firearm to commit first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The owner of the gas station, Mohammad Yasar said this is the second case of gunfire at his gas station in the past few months.

He doesn’t plan to move but is thinking about making a change.

"I live behind the store. I’ve got four kids. Maybe what I’ll do next week is close my back parking lot,” said Yasar.

While he is concerned, he says he is thankful for the Sheriff’s Office’s quick response and thorough investigation.


Authorities have arrested one person after a deadly shooting Thursday morning at a Henry County convenience store.

The suspect, who deputies believe to be the only suspect in this case, was arrested about two miles away at another convenience store as part of a traffic stop.

Investigators knew what type of car the suspect was driving and found it at that store.

The exact motive for the shooting remains under investigation, but deputies believe it's some type of domestic situation.

The store owner was inside at the time of the shooting when someone came in to alert him that someone was shot in the parking lot at about 10:15 a.m.

The victim was found by his or her car.

The victim has been identified, but next of kin have not yet been notified.

There is no threat to the community, according to the Henry County Sheriff's Office.

One person is dead after a shooting Thursday morning at a convenience store in Henry County, according to the Henry County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded shortly after 10 a.m. to the shooting at BG's Express on Philpott Highway.

The convenience store is about 10 minutes away from the Martinsville Speedway.

Authorities have not released the name of the victim at this time.