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More information released in Martinsville crime spree, apparent suicide

Published On: Mar 30 2014 06:55:55 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 31 2014 02:09:23 PM EDT

Authorities say he might be the man who went on a day-long crime spree on Sunday.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -

The Martinsville Police Department has released more information about a crime spree that ended with an apparent suicide Sunday.

37-year-old William McKinney of Collinsville was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

McKinney was a suspect in an abduction and robbery Sunday. He was also a suspect in a robbery at Price’s Minute Market on Bridge Street. As police and SWAT teams surrounded a home on Pony Place on Sunday, investigators say McKinney shot himself.

The incident began with a report of a robbery at 10:46 a.m. A mother and her three children were on their way to church when a man approached them and demanded a ride. The suspect made the woman drive to an ATM and withdraw $100. He then made her drive to the Scrub Board Laundromat on Liberty Street, and let the woman and her kids go.

Around 2 p.m. the Martinsville Police Department received a call of an armed robbery at Price’s Minute Market on Bridge Street. The clerk was robbed, and her car was stolen.

About 10 minutes later the van in the first robbery was found on Fayette Street, near Pony Place. At 2:26 p.m. the vehicle taken from the robbery at Price’s Minute Market was found unoccupied at Rudy’s Upholstery on Memorial Boulevard.

Officers received information about a person fitting the suspect’s description in the 100 block of Pony Place. When officers got to the home, they didn’t find anything.

About 45 minutes later officers got a second call about a person matching the suspect’s description being at the home. They got permission from the home owner to search the home. When officers got to the front door, they heard a single gunshot.

After hearing the gunshot, officers retreated. They used a robot to search the home. SWAT officers then entered the home and found McKinney dead in a back room.

Here is the news release from the Martinsville Police Department:

Information resulting from the investigation into yesterday’s events has produced the following information:

The subject located inside the residence on Pony Place was William Robert McKinney of Collinsville. He was 37 years of age. (Photo Attached). He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Mr. McKinney has also been identified as the only subject responsible for the Abduction on Mulberry Road and the Robbery at Price’s Minute Market on Bridge Street.

No gunshots were fired by police at the scene on Pony Place yesterday.

No other injuries were sustained during the incident.

The Investigation is continuing at this time and there is no other information at this time.

Timeline of events on March 30, 2014
At 10:46 a.m. the Martinsville police department received a call at the Scrub Board Laundry on Liberty Street reporting an abduction incident.

A mother and her three children were on their way to church. When a white male approached them and demanded a ride. The subject made her drive her 2012 van to a BB&T ATM machine where she withdrew $100.00 in cash and gave it to the subject. He then advised her to drive South were he released them at the Scrub Board Laundry Mat on Liberty Street unharmed.

At 203 p.m. the Martinsville police department received a call of an armed robbery at Prices Minute Market on Bridge street. When officers arrived they found that the female clerk had been robbed and her car stolen from the scene.

At 213p.m. the 2012 van taken during the first event was recovered on Fayette street near Pony Place unoccupied.

At 226p.m. the vehicle taken from the robbery at Prices Minute Market was recovered at Rudy’s Upholstery on Memorial Blvd unoccupied.

The police Department had received information of a subject fitting that description was in the 100 block of Pony Place. Officers responded and made contact with the residence and nothing was located at that time.

Approximately 30-45 minutes later we received a second call that the subject matching the description was inside the residence at that time. When officers responded and made contact with the occupant of the residence the second time, they gave consent to search the residence. When officers were at the front door and announced their presence they heard a single gunshot.

Officers then retreated and secured the residence and SWAT Teams from Henry County, Virginia State Police, Danville Police Department, and Martinsville PD responded. Officers attempted to make contact with the subject inside with no response. A robot was used to search the residence and once the scene appeared secure, SWAT officers entered the residence and discovered a deceased White Male in a back room.

We would like to thank the Virginia State police, Danville Police Department, Virginia ABC, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville City Sheriff’s Department, Martinsville Fire& EMS, and Public works for their assistance.

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A WDBJ7 crew left a press conference just about an hour ago in Martinsville where police said they're investigating the death of man who may have been responsible for several crimes in the area.

Those crimes include armed robbery.  A tip led police to a home in the 100 block of Pony Place.  Officers attempted to reach the person locked inside, when they knocked on the door, they heard one gunshot.

They immediately called in a SWAT team who stormed the house and found a man dead in a back room.

It's not clear if the victim is the suspect police are looking for.

Stay with WDBJ7 for the latest on this developing story.

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We're following a developing story out of Martinsville.

There's a heavy police presence at along Pony Place.

We have a crew on the scene who tells us the SWAT team has just arrived.

Check back for updates as they come in to the newsroom.