The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Virginia. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Drew Cloeter SUICIDE
Date: April 26, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 26, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Drew Cloeter, 25, shot and killed himself in his newly purchased home. Cloeter was discovered by a friend who checked in on him after receiving distraught text messages the night before. According to his mother, Cloeter had been upset about a recent break-up with his girlfriend and unexpected expensive repairs his new house required. After his death, his mother told a reporter, “And I guess everything just started looking worse than it actually
was. And he had a gun.”
Source: “Roanoke County mother seeks answers following son’s suicide,” www.roanoke.com, October 10, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Nicholas Clavier UNINTENTIONAL
Date: October 24, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On October 24, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Nicolas Clavier, 32, unintentionally shot himself while driving with his four children on a fishing trip. According to Clavier’s father-in-law, when Clavier drove, he would take his gun out of his waistband and place it beside him in his vehicle. Clavier and his children ages nine, eight, six, and four had stopped for candy and were on their way to pick up worms for their fishing trip when Clavier suddenly veered off the road and crashed into the woods. It is presumed that the gun discharged as a result of the crash, striking Clavier in the head. Clavier died in the hospital the next day. The children were unharmed.
Source: “How father fatally shot himself accidentally while driving remains a mystery,” richmond.com, February 3, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Laurence Smith CONVICTED
Date: March 16, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 16, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Laurence Smith, 37, allegedly shot and killed her husband, Sean Smith, 44. The couple lived in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Their two daughters, ages six and nine, were at home during the shooting. Smith told police that she “pulled the trigger” but the shooting was unintentional. According to her defense attorney, Smith thought she was holding an unloaded gun. “She said there was some disagreement, a disagreement about guns, maintaining the guns, or securing the guns,” the defense attorney said. One of the daughters said the couple was fighting about a gun case, while the other child said the fight was about a scratch on the gun. According to news reports, Sean Smith was a hunter who owned many firearms, but the .380 gun used in the shooting belonged to Laurence Smith, not her husband. Laurence Smith has been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
UPDATE: In December 2015, Laurence Smith was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Sean Smith, and the jury recommended the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Source: “2015 was a deadly year around the Fredericksburg region,” fredericksburg.com, January 3, 2016; “No bond for Spotsylvania woman who shot, killed husband,” The Free Lance-Star, April 2, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Corey C. Bowden CONVICTED
Date: September 11, 2014
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 11, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Corey C. Bowden, 42, shot and killed his wife Delesha C. Bowden, 27 with a 9mm pistol. The couple were having marital problems, and on the day of the killing, Bowden reportedly called his son, telling him that “his efforts to win her back didn’t turn out.” According to his son, Bowden said during the phone call that he planned to kill his wife and himself. Bowden’s son did not initially take his father seriously, and even after another phone call in which his father said that he had killed her and was going to kill himself, he did not immediately call 911. After driving around with his girlfriend trying to decide what to do, Bowden’s son eventually called 911, initially reporting that he received an anonymous call that something bad had happened at his father’s home before admitting that his father had told him he had killed his wife. When the first officer arrived at the scene, Delesha Bowden was naked and gasping for air but still alive, with a gunshot wound above her right eye. She died approximately six hours later at the hospital. Bowden claimed the shooting was an accident but in September 2015 he was found guilty of first degree murder and felonious use of a firearm. The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison plus three years.
UPDATE: On February 23, 2016, Corey Bowden was sentenced to life in prison in the death of Delesha Bowden.
Source: “Judge imposes jury-recommended life sentence for Chesterfield man who fatally shot wife,” richmond.com, February 23, 2016; “Chesterfield jury recommends life term for man who fatally shot wife,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 25, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Dominique T. Clark CONVICTED
Date: February 25, 2014
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On February 25, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Dominique T. Clark, 34, shot and killed Robert Lee Fox, 16, after confronting Fox and a group of teens who were breaking into cars on the street where Clark lived. Clark heard a car alarm going off and saw four people gathered around a vehicle at around 1:30 AM. Clark grabbed his pistol and went outside to confront the teens who fled into an alley. Clark followed and told them to freeze. The teens cursed at him and reportedly threatened to kill him. Clark said he saw one teen appear to reach for something in his waistband and Clark then fired one shot which struck and fatally wounded Fox. Clark was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, was required to pay a $2,500 fine, and will likely serve no jail time.
Source: “Shooter of Hanover teen burglary suspect gets no jail time; listen to 911 calls,” wtvr.com, October 24, 2014.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Bradley Scott Gregory CONVICTED
Date: January 1, 2012
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 1, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Bradley Scott Gregory, 27, allegedly shot and killed Michael Scott Shirley, 27, following an argument at a residence. According to court documents, following the argument, Gregory went to his vehicle and retrieved an unloaded handgun from the glove compartment and the ammunition magazine from the center console. Gregory then loaded the gun and shot Shirley in the chest, killing him. Gregory was arrested at the scene, and admitted to the shooting, according to court documents. Gregory told a judge that he had been unemployed since December 12 when he quit his job at the Underground Casino and Lounge in Bunker Hill, West Virginia and that he lived with his girlfriend. Gregory was charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
UPDATE: On April 17, 2013, Bradley Scott Gregory was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Scott Shirley. Gregory was found not guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a murder. The jury recommended that Gregory serve eight years in prison.
Source: “Jury Finds Bradley Scott Gregory Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter, Recommends 8 Years,” The Winchester Star, April 17, 2013; “Murder suspect remains in jail,” nvdaily.com, January 4, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Blaine Tyler SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT
Date: November 25, 2011
People Killed: 2
Circumstances: On November 25, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Blaine Tyler, 48, was shot and killed with his own handgun, allegedly by Toby Smith, 16, inside a Richmond gas station. Seven hours later, at 2:30 AM, Smith allegedly used Tyler’s handgun to shoot and kill Pierre Walter “Pete” Cosby, 32, during a robbery attempt as Cosby sat in his car with a woman. According to authorities, Smith and Tyee Marquel Hamiel, 16, followed Tyler into a BP gas station to rob him. Although Tyler had a permit to carry concealed, he was carrying his handgun in a holster, plainly visible. Smith grabbed the handgun from Tyler and allegedly shot him in the chest after Tyler chased him. According to authorities, “Tyler’s handgun was taken from his person, and within 30 seconds he was shot….” Tyler’s wife said that he took his gun “everywhere he went”and that he had obtained the gun afer an incident that had made him feel defenseless. “I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with it,” Sophia Tyler stated after the shooting, “But he felt that he needed it.” Less than seven hours later, Smith used Tyler’s gun to allegedly shoot and kill Cosby in a robbery attempt. Smith faces multiple charges, including: two counts of murder in the deaths of Tyler and Cosby; robbery of Tyler; conspiracy to rob Tyler; two counts of attempted robbery; and, 11 firearm charges. Hamiel was charged with: murder in the death of Tyler; robbery; conspiracy to commit robbery; use of a firearm in a robbery; possession of a gun by a minor; use of a firearm in a murder; shooting in a building; and, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Sources: “Teen faces new charges in BP shooting,” Richmond Times Dispatch, February 17, 2012; “Teen homicide suspects have criminal histories,” Richmond Times Dispatch, December 3, 2011; “Second teen arrested in South Richmond slaying; Victim shot at gas station had gun taken from him, police say,” Richmond Times Dispatch, December 1, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Unidentified UNINTENTIONAL
Date: November 13, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On November 13, 2011, a concealed handgun permit holder in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, died after his Glock pistol discharged as he tried to adjust the weapon which was tucked into his waistband. The 45-year-old man was sitting in the front seat of his minivan with his children as his wife was returning a DVD to a Redbox outside a Giant Food store. “For some reason, maybe for comfort, he reached out and went to adjust it,” said Spotsylvania sheriff’s Capt. Liz Scott. “The detective thinks that in doing so—in just grabbing it—he inadvertently grabbed the trigger.” The single shot struck the man in the hip and he bled to death in minutes. The man’s wife, and four children all younger than 10 years old, heard the gunshot and initially thought a balloon had burst as there were balloons in the van.
Source: “Man killed by his own concealed weapon,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 18, 2011; “UPDATE: Police say shooting victim had gun tucked in waistband,” wtvr.com, November 16, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Randy Gilbert Newberry KILLED BY POLICE
Date: March 13, 2011
People Killed: 3 (including shooter)
Law Enforcement Officers Killed: 2
Circumstances: On March 13, 2011, Randy Gilbert Newberry, 52, opened fire on Virginia sheriff’s deputies killing two and critically wounding two others. Newberry used a high-powered rifle in the sniper attack, firing approximately 50 rounds in the assault. He was killed by police when he pointed a handgun at responding officers. Newberry’s neighbors were stunned by the lethal outburst by someone with no criminal history. He had renewed his concealed handgun permit three times since 1999, most recently in 2009. Newberry was an avid hunter who liked guns according to neighbors.
Source: “Randy Gilbert Newberry lived quiet life according to neighbors, records,” TriCities.com, March 15, 2011; “Conley: ‘It smelled like it smelled in Vietnam. It’s like those shots fill the air and hang there forever,” TriCities.com, March 15, 2011; “Va. Mountain sniper who killed 2 deputies, wounded 2 others made final phone call to his wife,” Associated Press, March 14, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Ali A. Abid PENDING (FLED THE COUNTRY)
Date: March 6, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 6, 2011, police discovered the body of private investigator Arthur “Greg” Brown, 50, inside the trunk of his 2007 Honda that was parked at the Valley Mall in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Brown had been shot to death and stuffed in his car’s trunk. Brown, the owner of Argus Investigative Services, had been serving divorce papers to concealed handgun permit holder Ali A. Abid, 50, who has been charged with first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Abid, an immigrant from Iraq, is believed to have fled the country after the killing, according to police.
UPDATE: On March 10, 2011, the Harrisonburg Police Department issued a statement saying it “can confirm that Ali Abid fled the area on Thursday of last week, and is no longer in the United States of America.”
Source: “Abid On The Lam,” hburgnews.com, March 11, 2011; “International hunt continues for man charged in slaying,” newsleader.com, March 6, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Timothy Drew SUICIDE
Date: September 23, 2010
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On September 23, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Timothy Drew, 42, shot and killed his estranged wife Kimberly Drew, 44, before taking his own life in the home they once shared. Kimberly Drew, an executive assistant at First Citizens Bank in Roanoke, Virginia, was found murdered on her bed. Timothy Drew, a former Roanoke firefighter who supervised locomotive maintenance for Norfolk Southern, was found dead atop her body. The Drews had been married for nearly 20 years and were scheduled for a divorce court hearing that upcoming Tuesday. Kimberly Drew described her husband as violent and abusive. Days before the shooting, Timothy Drew was charged with assaulting his estranged wife’s current boyfriend, Michael “Andy” Stegall. Stegall, also a concealed handgun permit holder, said that Drew called him a name, threatened to kill him, threw him to the ground, hit him in the eye, and bit him on the arm. Drew also swore out a warrant against Stegall for brandishing a firearm and assault as a result of the fight. Stegall’s estranged wife Rhonda was friends with Timothy Drew and spoke with him regularly, saying, “This was extremely out of character for him….I know him as a caring father. I never saw any anger issues. I never saw any of that.” When the Drews’ children, ages 17 and 11, arrived home at their mother’s house they were greeted by “police cars, yellow crime-scene tape and horrified neighbors.” They told police that their father “seemed depressed about everything that was going on with…[the]…separation.”
Source: “Vinton couple found dead in likely murder-suicide,” roanake.com, September 24, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Robert Klosterman SUICIDE
Date: May 2, 2010
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On May 2, 2010, former Navy Captain Robert Klosterman, 64, shot and killed his wife Rebecca, 57, in their home before shooting himself to death. Klosterman, a fighter pilot and combat veteran who had served as the captain of the Naval carrier USS Stennis, was in the early stages of divorce. According to news reports, Rebecca Klosterman filed for divorce in 2008. Soon after that the relationship turned violent and Rebecca filed a protective order against Robert after she reported that he had pointed a gun at her. A judge granted the protective order and at the same time the court revoked Robert Klosterman’s concealed handgun permit (which he had possessed since 2005). Soon after, a more long-term protective order was denied and a judge dismissed the case, stating that there was not sufficient evidence showing that Robert had pointed the gun at Rebecca. Robert Klosterman’s attorney then filed a motion to allow the concealed handgun permit to be reinstated.
Source: “As officer rose, marriage crumbled, ending in murder-suicide,” Pilotonline.com, May 4, 2010; “Husband and wife found dead in Norfolk home in apparent murder-suicide,” www.wtkr.com, May 3, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Peter Simpson CONVICTED
Date: February 2, 2010
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On February 2, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Peter Simpson, 56, shot and killed his 19-year-old stepson Devon Mason with a .45 pistol in the home they shared with the young man’s mother, Francelia Archie. Late in the evening of February 1, Archie heard her husband making a 911 call on behalf of a woman he had previously had an affair with who claimed that her boyfriend had beaten her. Archie, sleeping in a separate bedroom from Simpson that night because of a prior fight, confronted her husband about the call. During the argument Simpson began pushing his wife out of the bedroom when she refused to leave. Mason heard the commotion and attempted to intervene. Simpson then went to his nightstand and pulled out the gun. Mason, unarmed and in his underwear, was shot four times by his stepfather, a registered nurse. Before pulling the trigger, Simpson, who had long had a contentious relationship with the 250-pound Mason, stated, “I’m tired of your superhero bull….” Mason was hit in the abdomen, arm, and twice in the back. His spine severed, he collapsed in the bedroom doorway. Simpson then stepped over him and went outside to call 911. Mason’s mother, also a nurse, tried to help the teenager, who later died after being taken to a hospital. In urging the jury to reject Simpson’s claim of self-defense against the large teen, prosecutor Julia Sichol stated, “You can’t bring a gun to a fistfight.” The jury recommended that Simpson serve 22 years in prison and an additional three years for using a firearm in the crime. The judge affirmed the verdict and set formal sentencing for April 26, 2011.
Source: “Chesterfield man convicted of second-degree murder in stepson’s fatal shooting,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 16, 2011; “Self-defense claimed in Chesterfield murder case,” Richmond Times- Dispatch, February 15, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Christopher Speight CONVICTED
Date: January 19, 2010
People Killed: 8
Circumstances: On January 19, 2010, Christopher Speight allegedly shot and killed eight people including his sister and her husband, their 15-year-old daughter and four-year-old son, as well as two teenagers aged 15 and 16. The incident began when police responded to reports of a wounded man on the side of an unpaved road. Sheriff’s deputies then found seven more bodies. As police converged on the scene, Speight fired a high-powered rifle at least four times at a state police helicopter, rupturing its gas tank and forcing it to land. Speight was described by co-workers as a handyman, construction worker, and security guard who had a long-time fascination with guns and a fear of government conspiracies. Speight enjoyed target shooting at a range on his property. According to neighbors, prior to the shooting Speight began shooting daily on his range, including high-powered rifles. Speight, troubled about a perceived family dispute over a house and land, owned as many as 40 guns and was said to be very skilled with weapons. A bomb squad discovered a “multitude” of explosive devices in Speight’s home. Speight had a concealed handgun permit issued in 1999. His most recent application was filed in January 2009 which was “seen and agreed to” by the Appomattox Commonwealth’s Attorney and approved by a circuit court judge. The day after the shooting Speight, wearing a bulletproof vest, surrendered to police. Speight was initially charged with one count of murder, and more murder charges were expected to be forthcoming.
UPDATE: On February 15, 2013, Christopher Speight pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder, one count of attempted capital murder of a police officer, and five firearms counts.
Source: “Va. Man charged with killing 8 pleads guilty,” Associated Press, February 15, 2013; “Appomattox rampage suspect faces murder count,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 21, 2010; “Attorney: Va. killing suspect had mental problems,” Associated Press, January 21, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Willie Donaldson CONVICTED
Date: December 8, 2008
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On December 8, 2008, Willie Donaldson shot and killed Matthew Hicks following a planned sexual liaison. Hicks and his girlfriend went to Donaldson’s house after Donaldson responded to an advertisement the couple had placed on Craigslist offering “erotic services.” Donaldson, who was issued a concealed handgun permit in 2006, was initially charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of using a firearm while committing murder. He eventually pled guilty to manslaughter without any jail time.
Source: “Craigslist Killing in Self-Defense, Accused Says,” Connection Newspapers, February 3, 2009; “Guilty Plea, No Jail Time in Erotic Services Killing,” Washington Post, July 16, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Evan Gargiulo CONVICTED
Date: November 2, 2008
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On November 2, 2008, concealed handgun permit holder Evan Gargiulo, 22, shot and killed cab driver Mazhar Nazir, 49, over a fare dispute. Gargiulo—dressed as a surfer in wet suit, diver’s boots, and blonde wig—left a Halloween party at a Washington, DC, nightclub and discovered that he had lost his wallet, cell phone, and keys. Gargiulo still had money stashed in his wet suit when he hailed Nazir’s cab to return to his home in Reston. Once home, he asked Nazir to wait while he retrieved an extra set of keys so that Nazir could then take him to a friend’s condominium where he had left his sports utility vehicle. While at his apartment, Gargiulo also took his 9mm handgun. Gargiulo’s attorney later said that it wasn’t uncommon for him to arm himself, stating, “He has a permit to carry a gun, and he regularly carries it.” After Nazir drove Gargiulo to his friend’s condominium, Gargiulo discovered that he had lost the money he thought he still had for the $130 fare. Gargiulo claimed that a dispute over the fare ensued, that Nazir lunged at him, and that he shot the cab driver in the back of the head in self-defense. In March 2010, a Fairfax County jury rejected Gargiulo’s claim that he acted in self-defense, or out of insanity, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison: 12 for murder and a mandatory three consecutive years for using a gun. During the trial, Nazir’s 13-year-old son told the jury, “There’s an emptiness in my life. There’s no one that listens to me like my dad did. My dad cared for me. He didn’t care about any money.”
Source: “Reston man gets 15 years in shooting death of cabbie near Tysons,” Washington Post, March 13, 2010; “Ex-Penn St. swim coach charged in Va. killing, Former Hillsborough captain allegedly shot cab driver,” Newark Star-Ledger, November 11, 2008.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Aaron Poseidon Jackson SUICIDE
Date: May 5, 2008
People Killed: 4 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On May 5, 2008, Aaron Poseidon Jackson, 24, shot and killed his two children, one-year-old Aaron Neptune Jackson and two-year-old Nicole Aaron Jackson, and their mother Latasha Nicole Thomas, before taking his own life. Jackson, who had a concealed handgun permit, was wearing body armor and was surrounded by guns and ammunition when police found him dead in their home in the Walt Lou Trailer Park. Jackson shot his wife with an AK-47 type WASR-10 assault rifle. He shot his children, found in a crib in a bedroom they shared, with a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Jackson killed himself with the revolver. Police later searched the trailer and seized at least seven guns, six knives, a machete, a sword, and numerous boxes of ammunition.
Source: “Police: Man killed children and their mother before turning gun on himself,” fredericksburg.com, May 6, 2008; Stafford County Sheriffs Office Incident Report.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Wesley Earnest CONVICTED
Date: December 2007
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: In December 2007, Wesley Earnest allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife Jocelyn Branham Earnest. Her body was found by co-workers in a home owned by the couple. She died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Prosecutors argued that the suicide note found beside her body was fabricated. Wesley Earnest had a concealed handgun permit, which was later suspended. He has been charged with murder.
UPDATE: On April 5, 2010, Earnest was found guilty of first-degree murder. The jury recommended life in prison, plus three years for using a firearm in the commission of a felony, plus a fine of $100,000. The sentence was the maximum the jury could recommend. Final sentencing will be imposed by the judge in the case.
Source: “Earnest found guilty; jury recommends life,” The Roanoke Times, April 6, 2010; “Bedford County man accused of killing his wife can stay out of jail,” The Roanoke Times, April 15, 2009.