Wythe County shootings spark massive manhunt
BARREN SPRINGS -- Law enforcement officers from more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies searched through the day and night Tuesday for a man they believe killed one man, shot and injured two more, including a deputy, and set fire to a house while two people were inside.
Douglas Albert Jaccard, a 58-year-old Vietnam veteran with a criminal history and a pending court case, is familiar with the woods around his Wythe County home and is considered armed and dangerous, Chief Deputy Keith Dunagan of the Wythe County Sheriff's Office said.
He said officers planned to search for Jaccard "until we know that he's not out here anymore or until he is arrested."
The man who was killed was identified as Joseph Foster Bane, 45. Bane lived on Dyer Road, across from Jaccard on a road where only about six houses sit off Virginia 100 near the Pulaski County line. He was killed on the front lawn just past 7 a.m., Dunagan said.
Bane's sister-in-law, Sarah Hicks, who also lives on Dyer Road, said her father, Jerry Covey, heard the gunshot and went outside to help. He was shot in the arm, she said. Covey, 61, was taken to Pulaski Community Hospital and then transferred to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery, she said.
After the shootings, Hicks said, Jaccard broke into Bane's house and set it on fire. Hicks' sister, Sharon Bane, and the Banes' teenage son were inside.
Sharon Bane was afraid to leave the house at first, Dunagan said, believing Jaccard was still there. She finally jumped out a second-story window, Hicks said. She was taken to Pulaski Community Hospital to be treated for injuries.
Hicks said her nephew made it out safely. The house burned down and was still smoking through the rain that fell Tuesday.
Hicks said Jaccard has been troubling her family for months, and on Sunday threatened to "take care of us."
The family notified the Wythe County Sheriff's Office about the threat, she said.
"We have responded there over the years to several complaints with Mr. Jaccard and his neighbors," Dunagan said. He declined to elaborate but said that recently the neighbors have called about Jaccard and Jaccard has called about them.
However, Dunagan said, there had been no basis for an arrest to be made.
In addition to Bane and Covey, Jaccard is suspected of shooting Pulaski County Deputy J.A. Radcliffe. Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said Radcliffe was struck in the back along the line of his bulletproof vest and suffered only a minor injury. He was taken to Pulaski Community Hospital for observation.
Radcliffe, 46, has been with the department 14 years, Davis said.
"He's in great shape," Davis said.
Dunagan said Jaccard also fired at but missed two Wythe County deputies.
Jaccard then leaped over a steep bank between his house and his neighbor's house, Dunagan said. The deputies who saw him said he went head over heels, he said.
Dunagan said he didn't want to speculate on a motive behind the shootings. But court documents show that Jaccard was scheduled to appear in Wythe County Circuit Court today for a pretrial motions hearing on charges of indecent liberties, abduction and possession of explosive materials.
The charges stem from allegations that on March 18, Jaccard propositioned a 14-year-old boy with whom he was de-barking wood in the Dyer Road neighborhood, according to the circuit court case file.
According to a criminal complaint, Jaccard asked the boy if he liked oral sex and also asked if the boy would be interested in sex if Jaccard "dressed up like a woman."
The boy, a neighbor of Jaccard's, told police that he was not directly threatened but that he was scared because Jaccard was using a drawknife to cut the wood.
Wythe County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Mabe said Jaccard had rejected any plea agreements, but that his defense attorney hoped to separate the indecent liberties and abduction charges from the explosives charges.
When police searched Jaccard's house after the allegations, they found three canisters of gunpowder, according to the complaint.
Jaccard lived alone at the home, Dunagan said.
Jaccard also told police that he liked to dress as a woman and that he was attracted to children, according to court documents.
He had previously been convicted of malicious wounding, assault and three counts of brandishing a firearm. He began serving a prison sentence for the malicious wounding charge in 2002, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections.
A Wythe County jury recommended Jaccard serve a 10-year sentence for the charge and a judge upheld that sentence. But Jaccard and his attorney appealed the case and, in June 2004, the Virginia Supreme Court found that the trial court had erred in telling jurors about a probation revocation as part of Jaccard's criminal history. The high court ordered the case back to Wythe County for a new sentencing hearing, where he got a three-year sentence.
Several Wythe County schools were put on lockdown Tuesday as police searched for Jaccard, and no buses traveled on Virginia 100 or Virginia 607, Dunagan said. Parents who live along those routes were called to pick up their children.
Officers from agencies throughout the New River Valley, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and U.S. Marshals, along with a helicopter and several tracking dogs, searched nonstop for Jaccard all day. They set up a command post at Riverview Church of God, where members kept them fed.
About 6 p.m., the church filled with officers -- most dressed in tactical gear -- who came in to relieve those who had worked all day.
Jaccard's brother, Jeff Jaccard, arrived about 5 p.m. and spent nearly two hours talking with officers in the sanctuary.
Jaccard is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs about 170 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 911.
Staff writers Neil Harvey, Greg Esposito and Sarah Bruyn Jones contributed to this report.
They still have not found this nut ball...