Marshall Dale Meadows, 61, was sentenced Thursday to serve 35 years in prison for a March 20, 2019, shooting incident which occurred in Iron Gate.
After a four-hour hearing, Circuit Court Judge Christopher Russell sentenced Meadows to 180 years of suspended time in addition to the 35-year active sentence for the attempted murder of nine local law enforcement officers who risked their lives to end his shooting spree.
On July 14, 2020, Meadows pled guilty to nine counts of attempted capital murder and five firearms charges for the two-hour standoff.
Neighbors called 911 when shots rang out in the quiet neighborhood near 802 Commerce Avenue in Iron Gate.
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Gardner, houses and vehicles were pelted by shotgun blasts and rifle fire as Meadows fired multiple rounds through a 12-gauge shotgun, a .30-06 rifle and a .22 magnum rifle.
As law enforcement officers tried to secure the scene, Meadows blew out three windows in his home, firing repeatedly at officers while they scrambled for cover behind trees and vehicles.
The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office, Clifton Forge Police Department, Covington Police Department and Virginia State Police worked together to close streets and protect residents. The Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office brought their BearCat armored vehicle to rescue deputies and officers pinned down by gunfire.
Meadows ignored commands to surrender as he moved from window to window, spraying the officers with gunfire. In a police interview, Meadows claimed he had been drinking all day and became angry about unsanitary conditions created by cats belonging to a woman who lived there and who was also present during the shooting. Officers were able to get the woman safely out of the home.
Using a cell phone, sheriff’s deputies Capt. Steve Thrasher and Sgt. Chris Fisher persuaded Meadows to put down his weapon and surrender.
From the witness stand at his sentencing, Meadows turned to the officers seated in the courtroom and apologized for his crimes. On cross examination, Gardner reminded Meadows that he should also thank the officers for exercising great restraint in not returning fire despite his persistent efforts to shoot them.
“It is a miracle that nobody was killed,” Gardner said. “These officers defused the situation and ended it without loss of life.
“When gunshots ring out, everyone else’s inclination is to run away,” Gardner said. “They put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. So, the next time you see one of our local law enforcement officers on the street you ought to say ‘thank you’.”
Credit @ Adobe Stock