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'You can’t even go outside sometimes’: Neighbors react to Martinsville officer-involved shooting

A 7-year-old girl heard the commotion, opened the door and saw a truck barreling towards her house

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Police said they will file charges against the Martinsville man who led police on a chase and started a shootout on New Year’s Day.

The officer has been released from the hospital while the suspect is still at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

People who live in the area said they’re still shaken after the chaotic scene unfolded on Wednesday night.

Between the gunshots and police, they said their neighborhood looked like something from the scene of a movie.

Leonora Hajurllaju, who did not want to show her face on camera, said she was watching a movie with her husband and four kids when she heard tires screeching and saw flashing lights.

“Then me and my husband, we run outside to see what was going on, then soon we opened the door, the shoot start," said Hajurllaju.

State police said it all started around 9:30 p.m when a Martinsville police officer tried to stop a pickup truck for a traffic violation on Memorial Boulevard.

That’s when the driver, who so far has only been identified as a 37-year-old Martinsville man, sped off.

Officers chased him until he jumped out of his moving truck and ran towards the Glen Ridge Apartments near Theatre Street and Joseph Martin Highway.

Another neighbor, who also did not want to talk on camera, told 10 News that her 7-year-old daughter heard the commotion, opened their door and saw the truck barreling towards their house, only stopping when it crashed into a pile of wood in their front yard.

If not for a pile of wood, she felt that the truck may have crashed into her daughter’s bedroom.

State police said when officers found the suspect, he opened fire and they shot back.

“We hear people screaming and crying and we was really, really scared,” said Hajurllaju, who spent the night worried about her family’s safety. "I’m not feeling comfortable. The kids are not feeling comfortable. You can’t even go outside sometimes because you’re scared what’s going to happen.”


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