Bedford Co. Deputies Responded to WDBJ Shooting

Bedford Co., VA – Last week’s deadly shooting of those WDBJ journalists happened on the Franklin County side of Smith Mountain Lake, but three deputies from Bedford County were the first to arrive.

The deputies all live near the lake and were either coming off shift or heading into work that morning.

Deputy Andrew O’Conner arrived at Bridgewater Plaza just three seconds after Franklin County notified Bedford dispatch.  O’Conner saw WDBJ’s live truck parked out front.  He did not know if the shooter was still around and used the plaza’s deck as cover.

“He was moving from beam to beam with his weapon drawn, being very careful,” said Sheriff Mike Brown.  “Worked his way up, at that time saw the victims laying on the deck on the third level.”

Reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were dead.  O’Conner reached the only survivor, Vicki Gardner.

“She asked O’Conner to please call 911,” said Brown. “He said, well we are 911.”

A second deputy Sgt. Chris Edmondson arrived, allowing O’Conner to get Gardner on her feet.

“He had his back covered as we say,” said Brown.  “O’Conner held her on his left side, keeping his right hand and his weapon drawn.”

“They took up defensive positions at the car,” said Brown.  “They put her into the backseat to protect her and noticed the ambulance.”

Joined by Deputy Mike Holt, with guns drawn, they surround the ambulance and EMS crew.

“They worked as a team,” said Brown.

Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton told ABC 13 the counties have a mutual aid agreement.

“I’m just so thankful for their quick response in helping to get there,” said Sheriff Bill Overton.  “Certainly I think once those officers were first on the scene they were trying to make as quick of an assessment as they could.”

Original Link –

Officer Shootings Stir Safety Concerns Within Local Law Enforcement

BEDFORD (WSLS10) – As the manhunt continues for the suspects wanted for murdering an Illinois police officer, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department said it is concerned officer assassinations are becoming more common.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial — 26 officers have died in gun-related events so far this year. Bedford sheriff’s deputies are working to avoid being part of that statistic. They said they regularly handle calls where they don’t always know the situation they’re walking into, or if a person is armed.

Cruiser cameras and license plate readers two tools used to help protect them, but deputies admit when they put on the uniform, they know what they are signing up for.

“It boils down to the individual; the mindset is to go to work in the morning and to come home alive at night,” said Bedford County Sheriff Michael Brown.

From radios, to K-9 units, handcuffs and body cameras, the department they prepare their deputies for most situations. However, even with training, “you realize that every day you are out there in uniform there are people looking at you that probably just really don’t like you,” Sheriff Brown explained.

Sheriff Brown said he believes his officers are working during one of the most dangerous times of his 50-years in law enforcement.

Events like Ferguson and the Illinois shooting weigh on law enforcement.

“We’ve had comments from all of them saying ‘this is really getting rough out there’,” Sheriff Brown said.

But the public spotlight on officer shootings doesn’t seem to have deterred interest in the job. Sheriff Brown said application rates for the department were holding steady an more than six were interviewed for open positions during the first week of September.

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Two Arrests made Sunday Morning on Horseshoe Bend Road in Bedford County.

August 24, 2015

At 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from Cindy Davis, 1386 Horseshoe Bend Road Moneta. She advised that she had been assaulted by a Charles Green. After arriving on the scene, deputies found Green outside the home. He advised them that Davis had shot at him while they both were inside the house. Davis told the deputies that Green had assaulted her. After finding evidence of both, deputies arrested Cindy Davis, age 58, for discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling. Charles Green, age 38, 1386 Horseshoe Bend Road, was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery. Both parties had consumed alcohol and were transported to the Bedford Adult Detention Center.





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Bedford Begins Extradition Process for Suspect In Lyon Sisters Case


Sheila Lyon (left) and Katherine Lyon

The Delaware prisoner facing murder charges in connection with a mysterious 40-year-old cold case is expected to be brought to Bedford County for a trial in the next two months, authorities said at a press conference Thursday.

Lloyd Lee “Michael” Welch Jr., 58, was indicted Friday by a Bedford County grand jury on two counts of first degree felony murder stemming from the disappearance of two Maryland girls in 1975. The indictments were unsealed Wednesday.

Authorities wrote in recently unsealed search-warrant applications they believe Welch, who has family ties on Taylors Mountain in Bedford County, visited the area in March 1975 to dispose of the bodies of Sheila and Katherine Lyon.

The 12- and 10-year-old Lyon sisters went to a mall in Wheaton, Maryland, on March 25, 1975, and didn’t return home. Their bodies were never found.

Authorities from Montgomery County, Maryland, and Bedford County announced Welch’s indictment at a press conference in Wheaton Wednesday and gave a more detailed picture of the case Thursday.

Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz said that Thursday morning he started the process of extraditing Welch from Delaware, where he is serving a lengthy sentence for child-sex crimes.

“Because that Mr. Welch is an inmate of a Delaware state prison, we have to through the process of having him transported and turned over to Bedford County authorities. This morning, prior to coming here, I submitted the initial documents entering them into the system so that what we call ‘detainers’ may be filed against him in Delaware,” Krantz said.

He estimates it will take between 30 and 60 days for Welch to arrive in Bedford County, where he’ll face a trial. No trial date has been set.

Bedford County Sheriff Michael Brown said Welch’s indictment is a significant milestone for the case, which has gone decades without any substantial leads.

“They were killed in order for their captors to escape detection. The motive for the abduction of the Lyon sisters was to sexually exploit, abuse and defile them,” Brown said.

He and other authorities noted the investigation is ongoing, and warned against withholding information from officials.

“As we go forward in preparing for the trial of Lloyd Welch, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office will also continue to focus its investigative efforts on identifying and bringing to justice those individuals that added or assisted in this horrible crime,” Brown said.

Montgomery County Police Capt. Darren Franke urged anyone with information about the girls to examine their conscience.

“Our message is very very simple, and it’s to the whole community: We will be relentless in finding the facts of this case. If you have information, if you’re a Welch, if you’re a citizen of Bedford County, if you’re a citizen of Montgomery County, we want to hear from you,” Franke said.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce at (434) 534-9521, or email the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at

Original Article: Lynchburg News & Advance

ICAC Installing Elevator to Host Wounded Warrior Training

Bedford Co., VA – A program that gives our wounded veterans a new career protecting our children is getting a lift, literally. The Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is putting in an elevator at its office in Bedford County.

Much of the office is already ADA compliant, but if the task force wants to host H.E.R.O. Child Rescue Corps, they need to make sure those heroes can access every part of the building.

Investigators have been doing the demolition and construction work themselves, under the supervision of general contractor Tommy Scott. That work passed inspection Friday morning, clearing the way for the concrete footer to be poured. Two wheelchairs will be able to fit inside the lift.

The work is being done so our local task force can host training classes of warriors, like one going on in Washington D.C. right now. The next class is tentatively set for October.

Sheriff Mike Brown would like for Bedford County to be a permanent training location for the warriors and hopes to hire some of the veterans when positions are available on our local task force.

Several local businesses either donated labor and materials or offered them at a reduced cost for the elevator project. Those businesses are:

Lynchburg Ready Mix

Tommy Dawson Electrical

Taylor Brothers Lumber

Pearson Equipment

Romar Elevators

Magic City Sprinkler

Eastbrook Heating and Air

Bays Trash Removal

The sheriff’s office is hoping local businesses will donate meals and other items for the warriors to enjoy during their 12-week training. If you’re interested in donating call (540)586-4800 and ask for Robin Sundquist.

Original Link: WSET.COM

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown Targets Cyberbullying

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Liberty University Supports Law Enforcement During Taylors Mountain Dig

Search Party

Liberty University provided 75 box lunches and transportation for law enforcement in Bedford County, Va., on Monday, Jan. 12, as investigators, following new leads, conducted a search for a break in a decades-old case involving two missing girls.

In 1975, the Lyon sisters — Sheila, 12, and Katherine, 10 — were last seen walking to the Wheaton Plaza mall in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Wheaton, Md., from their nearby home. Investigators now believe the suspect in the case owned property on Taylor Mountain in Bedford County, which is the subject search area.

Bedford County Sheriff Michael Brown said he could not describe how thankful he was for Liberty’s assistance during this time.

“There is nothing that President Jerry Falwell and Liberty will not provide for local law enforcement,” he said. “This is a financial cost for the sheriff’s office because we are a small department compared to some. I cannot say enough about how thankful I am to Liberty for providing the lunches and transportation for investigators up and down the mountain.”

For 12 hours per day from Jan. 12-15, members from the FBI field office in Richmond, Va., and other law enforcement agencies will eat meals provided by Sodexo, Liberty’s dining services provider, at Thaxton Baptist Church in Bedford. Liberty University Transit Services will shuttle them to and from Taylor Mountain throughout the search process.

“We are hoping to uncover evidence on the mountain that will lead us to a suspect after a proper examination,” Brown said. “The priority is to locate these two young girls so that we can return remains to their parents and give them a (proper) burial. No parent should go through not knowing where their children are.”

Original Article: Liberty University News and Events

Residential Fire at Saber Court in Forest Results in One Fatality



January 9, 2015

At 4:38am a call was received for a residential fire at 1152 Saber Court, Forest Va caller advising there were flames showing from the neighbors home, unknown if residence was occupied. Crews from Forest Fire Department, Bedford Fire Company, Bedford County Fire & Rescue, Goode Rescue Squad responded. Upon arrival crews found a residential mobile home with heavy fire noted. The fire was under control at 5:21 am with one fatality. The victim has been transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke.   The cause of the fire at this time is under investigation by Bedford County Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshal’s & Bedford County’s Sherriff’s Office.

Leaders of Bedford County Sheriff’s Department honor fallen New York officer

Originally published:

BEDFORD COUNTY (WSLS) – Members of local law enforcement are back home after a quick trip to Brooklyn, New York.

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown and Major Ricky Gardner traveled north to show support for an officer taken too soon.

NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu was shot alongside his partner Rafael Ramos as the two sat in their marked patrol car.

We sat down with the sheriff about what this trip meant to the long serving leader.

“It was a very humbling experience and I’ve been to law enforcement officers, deputy’s funerals, trooper’s funerals, federal agent’s funerals and it’s always a sad feeling, a feeling of loss, we are a family, we are a big family,” Sheriff Brown.

Thousands joined Brown and Gardner in honoring the fallen police officer Sunday.

While many officers in New York say they feel a lack of support from government leaders, namely Mayor Bill de Blasio following the recent officer involved shootings, they say they’ll continue working to keep their city safe.

Originally published:

Two Men Rescued from Possible Drowning by Local Police Officers


MAY 20, 2014

At 3:37 p.m. Friday, May 16, 2014, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from a Maurene Rosko at 1642 Krantzs Corner Road. She reported that her husband, Constantine Rosko age 83, and son, Curt Rosko age 54, were in a jon boat, on their private pond, attempting to remove an aerator pump when their boat capsized.  She said both men were in the water, holding on to the boat, and that her husband couldn’t swim. She also stated the water was approximately 8 to 9 feet deep.  Dispatchers broadcasted the call for distress and at 3:43 p.m. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Police Officer Dallas Neel arrived on the scene, followed by Bedford County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Shull at 3:44 p.m.  Officer Neel attempted to throw a lifesaving device to them, but after unsuccessful attempts, both he and Deputy Shull removed their shirts and duty belts, and went in to the pond.  They were able to swim to the subjects and successfully brought both men back to shore.  Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Major Ricky Gardner and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Captain Tony Fisher both agree that had these two officers not reacted as quickly as they did and put their training into action, the outcome may have been tragically different.

Bedford County Rescue Units arrived on the scene and examined both men who were tired and cold.  Neither men required additional treatment, and were not transported to the hospital.


Agency Contacts:

Bedford County Sheriff’s Department – Major Ricky Gardner via the contact form on this website or see PDF for email address.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries – Lieutenant Chris Thomas 434-525-7522

Download the PDF Press Release