Police surround church in Rockbridge Co.; suspect found deceased inside

ROCKBRIDGE CO. (WSLS 10) – A message from Alert Rockbridge said the man officers considered armed and dangerous was located and is deceased.

The message said there was no further threat to the public.

Officers from multiple agencies surrounded Redeeming Life Ministries in Rockbridge County Monday afternoon. State police said they thought 35-year-old William Evan Hall could be inside the church. They asked media to move away from what they called an “active crime scene” a short time later.

Officers did not comment on whether they found Hall. They told media they would be briefed sometime Monday evening on the progress of the search.

Federal, state and local law enforcement were looking for Hall, who shot at a deputy shortly after midnight Saturday, December 5. According to Sgt. Rick Garletts with Virginia State Police, Hall was believed to have at least one firearm in his possession.

William Evan Hall (VSP)
William Evan Hall (VSP)

State police said shortly after midnight Saturday morning, a Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding on Route 60. The deputy activated his emergency lights and the vehicle’s driver, Hall, pulled over and stopped.

During the course of the traffic stop, Hall fired at the deputy at least two times. The deputy’s vehicle was struck. Fortunately, the deputy was not harmed.

Hall then sped away from the scene. A pursuit was initiated by the deputy, but was discontinued when the responding deputies lost sight of Hall’s vehicle.

The sheriff’s office later located Hall’s abandoned vehicle off of Route 501.

State police cannot confirm if Hall was the only person inside the vehicle. At this time, police are not releasing the identity of the deputy involved.

During the course of the investigation, Rockbridge County deputies responded to a call of a break-in at a residence in the 100 block of Bennetts Run Road that occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5. Evidence at the scene indicates Hall stole clothing and a firearm from the residence.

Due to the search for Hall, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County Public Schools closed Monday, December 7.

The decision to close school was announced early Monday morning. School leaders said they will continue to stay in contact with members of the Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation into this incident resulted in the following felony warrants issued against Hall:

  • Attempted Capitol Murder
  • Use a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Shoot at a Law Enforcement Vehicle
  • Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer
  • He is also wanted on a felony warrant out of Lynchburg for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Hall is believed to still be in the Route 501 area just south of Buena Vista.

Please call 911 immediately if you see Hall. He’s considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.

Hall is described as a white male, 6’0″ tall, 175 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a grey hoodie and a grey coat. The 35-year-old has a muscular build, buzz cut, and numerous tattoos.

Hall is from Abingdon, Va., but has been living in the Lynchburg and Roanoke areas for the last several weeks.

Police are asking the public to secure all vehicles and homes. Residents are asked to report any suspicious activity to police.


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