On December 1, 2016, officers from the City of Norton and Virginia State Police were dispatched to an area behind Norton Community Hospital in reference to the sound of gunshots. A hospital staffer reported to shots coming from an apartment complex. Upon investigating, he observed a male lying in the breezeway of the apartment complex and another male standing over him. The victim had a gunshot wound to the abdominal area and told rescue personnel that he was shot by "Tim."
While medical personnel was transporting the victim out of the apartment, he yelled out "I love you, buddy" to Tim Lemay. When officers searched the apartment, they found firearms, spent shell casings, and alcohol.
Lemay advised that he and the victim had been drinking liquor together and doing methamphetamine. After becoming intoxicated, the two started shooting a gun into a field near the apartment. At some point, the two began wrestling with the gun and eventually the gun discharged. Lemay admitted to shooting the victim in the stomach.
Lemay and the victim both made multiple, varying statements about the events of the shooting, probably due to the involvement of drugs and alcohol. No motive for the shooting was found and the two individuals involved are still remain friends.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp commented, "This case is an example of what can go wrong when you mix drugs and alcohol. Without the diligent efforts of our law enforcement and first responders on the scene, this case could have ended very differently."
Lemay had originally been charged with attempted first degree murder. Slemp said, "Upon our review of the case and during preparation for trial, the evidence did not support a prosecution on the attempted murder charge." The case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Newberry. Slemp thanked the efforts of Norton City Police Chief James Lane and the Norton City Police Department, Norton City Fire Department, the Virginia State Police, and the Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force for their work investigating and assisting in the prosecution of the case.