SALEM — A woman is dead and her former husband is charged with murder in an incident that occurred on Memorial Day in Roanoke City and ended in Montgomery County. State Police reported that Jennifer Agee, 30, of Salem, died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital from gunshot wounds.
Agee’s former husband, Jonathan Ashley Agee, 32, of Boones Mill, and a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy, was charged with murder.
Police said Jennifer Agee with her daughter was in a white pickup truck headed to Roanoke while her former husband was in pursuit in a county sheriff’s department vehicle. Agee stopped at Sheetz on the corners of Williamson Road and Orange Avenue across from the Roanoke Civic Center.
Roanoke City Police said Jonathan Agee, who was off-duty, caught up with her and shot her several times in the Sheetz parking lot. The child in the pickup truck was not harmed.
Agee left the scene and headed west on U.S.11/Route 460, police said. According to Virginia State Police, Sgt. Matt Brannock, 35, was eastbound on Route11/ Route 460 when he spotted Agee’s vehicle going the opposite direction.
Brannock turned on his flashing lights and gave pursuit of Agee, hoping to pull him over , Virginia State Police Sgt. Bob Carpentieri said. Agee turned on his police car flashers and both cars got on I-81 at Exit 118 and into holiday traffic, Carpentieri said. Agee stopped his cruiser and fired several times at Brannock and shot Brannock in the upper leg according to state police.
Agee got back into his car where two more unmarked state police cruisers picked up the chase. Agee’s vehicle went up the ramp at the Ironto exit. State police and Agee exchanged gunfire. Agee was struck multiple times.
Both Agee and Sgt. Brannock were airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
State Police said injuries were not life-threatening for Brannock, who has been with the VSP for 13 years and before that in the Air Force.
Agee had life-threatening wounds and listed in serious condition according to state police.
Both lanes of north-bound Interstate 81 were closed for several hours Monday afternoon. Traffic came to almost a complete stop at the Christiansburg-Riner exit and it could be seen as far back as the Radford University exit or about 22 miles away from the scene of the shooting.
Traffic was rerouted at the Christiansburg-Riner Exit to Route 11 (Roanoke Street) until late afternoon. North-bound traffic had returned to I-81 by 7 p.m. Monday.
State police said the incident remains under investigation.