Martinsville’s summer marred by first homicide of the year

19-year-old Iviyan Dandridge was shot to death early Sunday

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – What started as a fairly quiet summer in Martinsville has left police searching for suspects in their first homicide of the year.

“This is not the way we wanted to start off our weekend,” Captain of Criminal Investigations Ben Peters said.

He said it all started when police were called for a car crash around Rivermont Heights.

“When the first officer got on scene, he heard gunfire,” Peters said.

Just up the street, police found a house party that had gotten out of control.

“We found a large party there, a lot of people leaving, and located on scene was a female that had been struck by gunfire,” he said.

That female was 19-year-old Iviyan Dandridge. She died at the hospital.

Another victim was treated and released.

Police said there were several witnesses.

“It’s very important for us to get that information as quickly as possible so we can investigate this case and make charges,” Peters said.

Peters tells 10 News alcohol was most likely involved, and said it’s easy for house parties to get out of control.

“People start to show up that weren’t invited. When something like this happens, if you’re a neighbor in the area, contact the police so we can come out and control some of the crowd, start dispersing some of the crowd. The large crowd shows up and that tends to lead to problems where it can be a small party, gets big quick and gets out of hand,” he said.

But he wants to ease people’s minds. Because even though there was a homicide, crime is still down in the city.

“Based on our crime numbers, crime is down in the City of Martinsville, so based on the numbers and what we see at the police department, the calls that come in, we’re down on crime right now,” he said.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

Recommended Videos