BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Kathryn Bishop was in disbelief when she got a call that her good friend and roommate, Lenora Farrington, was in the hospital after a violent attack.
“When the good-hearted, kind people this happens to, it’s worse,” said Bishop. “I’m sad. I’m grateful she’s alive. I mean, she should be dead.”
Farrington’s friends and coworkers said she’s recovering at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with several skull fractures after she was allegedly attacked by Dustin Holdren, 34, during an open house over the weekend.
Farrington is a real estate agent with Keller Williams.
On Monday evening, Farrington’s boss, Teresa Grant, detailed what she’d heard about the terrifying encounter...Grant said that Holdren showed up at the open house, signed in using his name, chatted with Farrington about his family and job, then left when someone else came to check out the listing.
Not long after, Grant said Holdren returned with crescent wrench, claiming he had forgotten his phone.
Bishop and Grant said that Holdren then attacked Farrington and hit her in the head about ten times.
“She could have not made it. It’s just, I think everyone’s still in shock,” said Grant, the Operating Principal at Keller Williams located in Forest.
That’s when Grant said that Farrington’s self-defense knowledge as a second-degree black belt kicked in, which likely saved her life.
“She fought him. I don’t know that I could have fought him like that. I mean, it’s amazing. She’s not a very big person. She’s just a small, you know, woman and he is a huge, huge guy,” said Grant.
Captain Jon Wilks with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said it’s still an active investigation.
“We’re not sure of a motive at this time. We’re still looking into that,” said Wilks.
The question of why this had to happen to such a kind and strong woman haunts Grant and Bishop. But they said Lenora is a fighter and she won’t let this get her down.
“She’s not a victim,” said Grant. “She doesn’t have that kind of mentality.”
“She will take this and turn it into something good,” said Bishop.
Grant and Bishop said that Farrington wants to teach others about the importance of self-defense, which Grant said she wants to train other realtors how to defend themselves.
The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Keller Williams and the local Chamber of Commerce plan to discuss ways to improve safety for real estate agents in the region.
In response to the attack, Waller Perrow, the president of Mariners Landing Development Company, released a statement that reads:
“We condemn this appalling attack and wish to express our heartfelt sympathy to the victim and her family. All of us here, as well as many we’ve heard from around the lake community, were shocked by the assault and are praying for a quick and complete recovery. We’re working together with the sheriff’s department on ideas and solutions to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”
A GoFundMe page for Farrington has raised more than $117,000.