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UPDATE: Murder-suicide investigation in Carroll County

Published On: Feb 16 2014 10:04:24 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2014 10:57:06 PM EST

New details in the shooting deaths of two people in Carroll County.

The victims are Barney and Tammy Vass from Hillsville.

Deputies say they found a woman shot dead on the side of Joy Ranch Road on Sunday Afternoon.

Witnesses say a man shot her and then drove off.

Investigators say they found Barney Vass dead in a barn nearby the same day.

Investigators think he shot himself.


Carroll County Sheriff J. B. Gardner released additional information Monday about an apparent murder-suicide.  The identities of the two people involved have not yet been released.

Here is the complete news release:

On Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at approximately 12:40 p.m., The Carroll County Sheriff's Office received a call reporting a shooting that had just taken place on Joy Ranch Road. The Caller advised that a female had been shot and was in the snow on the side of the roadway.

Sgt. Bobby Lyons, Deputy Jarret Combs responded to the scene and discovered the body of a white female, lying in the snow. A witness to the shooting told deputies that he had observed a white male in a maroon SUV, shoot the female, get back into the SUV and drive away. No further description was available at that time.

Investigators from the Sheriff's Office and Agents with the Virginia State Police arrived and started working the crime scene while Deputies and Troopers searched the area, in an attempt to locate the maroon SUV.

At approximately 3:52 p.m., a call came in to the Sheriff's Office reporting a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound on Iris Road, located just off the Joy Ranch Road. Deputy Joe Utt responded to the scene and found a maroon SUV, matching the description of the vehicle at the earlier shooting, as well as the body of a deceased male inside a barn.

A handgun was recovered from the scene and will be sent to the Forensics lab in Roanoke for examination. Deputies also recovered other items of evidence inside the SUV that appear to tie the two scenes together.

Both the victim from the shooting on Joy Ranch Road and the body found on Iris Road will be sent for autopsy and identification at the Medical Examiner's office in Roanoke.


Multiple sources have confirmed to WDBJ7 an apparent murder-suicide in Carroll County on Sunday.

Several law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation say a man and woman both died of gunshot wounds.

We've gotten several calls and emails from viewers that it happened along Joy Ranch Road.

We've put in several calls to the Carroll County Sheriff for more information.  We're still waiting to hear back from him.

Check back for updates.