Teen killed, two others shot at graduation party in Axton

Police say a 17 year old is dead, 2 others are injured

By Sarah White - Producer, Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter, Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

AXTON - The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office is investigating a graduation party shooting that left a 17-year-old dead, and 2 others injured. 

According to a release from the sheriff's office, Pittsylvania County 911 received a call at 12:57 Sunday morning about a possible shooting incident at "Axton Lodge, The Pines". 

The neighbor who called 911, who did not want to be identified, said the scene was very chaotic.

"It was just people running everywhere. People shooting everywhere," the neighbor said.

She said she called 911 multiple times.

"I called three times because they wouldn't get here fast enough," the neighbor said. "They were, like, 'We're on our way. We're on our way.'"

She was concerned for the safety of the three young children, ages seven, two, and one, in her home.

"We were scared in the house," she said. "Then, we came out and people were screaming...'They shot my (friend)! They shot my (friend)!'"

When deputies arrived, they determined there were three victims with gunshot wounds. All three were taken to area hospitals.

Two were taken to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville Henry County and listed in stable condition.

One of the two was later flown to Roanoke for surgery.

The third, a 17-year-old male, was pronounced dead at Danville Regional Medical Center.

Eva Willis runs the lodge and didn't think the party would turn out like it did.

"He said that the gates would be closed, he had security, he had chaperones, and absolutely there'd be no alcohol," Willis said.

She is referring to the man she claims set up the party.

WSLS called the number she has on file for the man, but no one answered.

She said the only security was two men wearing shirts that said "staff."

She also said she was told that there would only be people from Henry County, but according to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office there were people from both Henry and Pittsylvania County and Danville.

As for the alcohol?

"Everywhere. Bottles all down through the yard," Willis said.

She now plans to change the rules for parties.

"If you're going to have a party, it's going to start by six o' clock and it's going to be over by 10," Wilis emphasized.

The sheriff's office has not said what sparked the shooting.

The 17 year-old's death is being investigated as a homicide. The teenager's body is being taken to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy. His name is being withheld pending notification of family.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 434-432-7800, the Pittsylvania County Crimestoppers at 1-800-791-0044, or you may email your information to sar@pittgov.org.

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