MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – Shock waves rippled through a Montgomery County neighborhood after investigators arrested a man for allegedly shooting and killing his wife.
Investigators charged 58-year-old Gerard Tompkins with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, 51-year-old Michelle Tompkins.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a 911 call at about 8:47 p.m. on Tuesday.
When they arrived at the couple’s home, at 1424 Red Hawk Run, they found that she had been shot multiple times, but was still alive.
Riner Rescue Squad rushed her to the New River Valley Medical Center where she died a short time later.
One neighbor, Sophia Davis, woke up Wednesday morning and heard the tragic news.
“Definitely a shock to wake up to something like that," said Davis. “For something so extreme to have happened less than a half-mile away, it’s different. It’s scary.”
Other neighbors told 10 News off-camera that they saw the flashing lights of police cars Tuesday night and thought there may have been a fire.
They also said that Tompkins had a reputation as an isolated man, but they did see him working in his yard frequently and would wave at each other.
“The other day he was out pulling roots and you know, we watched and he was smiling at us," said Davis. "He seemed friendly to me.”
Court records show that Tompkins had two minor traffic infractions -- one in 2015 and the other in 2018. The NRV 911 Authority said it’s never received any 911 calls to the couple’s home before. Neighbors also said they’ve never noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Davis said she’s not afraid, just sad for the victim’s family.
“I just hope that they can find peace in this,” said Davis. “I’ll definitely be praying for them.”
The investigation is ongoing and authorities are looking into a possible motive. Tompkins is being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond.