February 16, 2020
Teen murder suspect taken holding hair dye in Target
Photos/Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and Google Earth
Durham, N.C., police arrested double-murder suspect Levi Norwood, 17, in this Super Target at 4037 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. just after 4 p.m. Saturday, about 22 hours after he allegedly killed his mother and little brother in Southern Fauquier.
It’s a devastating experience for the family and for anyone who knows them, but it’s a small community. This has widespread effects. How do you explain it?
— Sheriff Bob Mosier
The teenage murder suspect from Midland attempted to shoplift hair dye, clothes and a backpack when detained at 3:59 p.m. Saturday in a Super Target store in Durham, N.C., authorities said Sunday.
Levi Norwood, 17, had remained on the run for 22 hours, since he allegedly fatally shot his mother and 6-year-old brother and wounded his father in their home at 12870 Elk Run Road in Southern Fauquier.
A Target “loss prevention specialist” detained Levi Norwood and called Durham police, who responded to what at first seemed a routine “teen shoplifting case,” Fauquier Sheriff Bob Mosier said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.
Only after Durham police checked a bulletin that described the alleged killer — with purple hair — did they identify the suspect, who initially provided a false identity, Sheriff Mosier said.
It could take days to extradite Levi Norwood to Fauquier, Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook said during the press conference. The suspect will go before a judge Tuesday, probably for appointment of a lawyer, before the North Carolina court will consider hearing the petition for his return to Virginia — possibly later this week, Mr. Hook explained.
The suspect’s capture Saturday in the store southwest of downtown Durham ended an intense manhunt that involved hundreds of law enforcement officers, helicopters, drones and tracking dogs.
His father, 37-year-old Joshua Norwood came home just before 6 p.m. Friday to find his wife and young son shot to death in their rented brick rambler in the rural area east of Morrisville and south of Midland, according to the sheriff’s office.
Then, Levi Norwood appeared and shot his father with a handgun, Sheriff Mosier said.
Mr. Norwood left through the front door and called 911 at 5:59 p.m.
The bodies of Jennifer Norwood, 34, and Wyatt Norwood, 6, remained in the house.
The first deputy reached the scene 16 minutes later and dozens more quickly arrived to set up a perimeter around the house, which has two other exterior doors.
Deputies assumed Levi Norwood remained inside with the gun.
But, at 10:15 p.m. when officers “forced entry,” they failed to find the suspect, who had fled and eventually covered about 10 miles through dense woods and along rural roadways until he stole a red 2007 Toyota Camry on Rogues Road close to C.M. Crockett Park near Midland, according to authorities.
At 7:30 Saturday morning, its owner reported the Camry missing.
Ultimately, tracking dogs followed the suspect’s entire trail from the family home to the area of the stolen car, Sheriff Mosier said.
Meanwhile, the horrific case attracted national news coverage as the manhunt continued through Saturday.
When arrested, Levi Norwood did not have a gun in his possession, Sheriff Mosier said.
But, police found the stolen Camry in the Target parking lot. Durham police sealed the vehicle in preparation for its return to Warrenton, where sheriff’s detectives will get a search warrant before opening it and collecting evidence, the sheriff said.
The murder weapon could be in the car, Sheriff Moser acknowledged.
In response to questions, the sheriff said investigators have no evidence that the suspect received any assistance in the shootings or in his escape. Investigators do not know how long it took him to cover the 10 miles from his family’s home to Rogues Road where he stole the car, Sheriff Moser added.
Nor do they know the route he travelled from Midland to Durham, a distance of at least 245 miles.
Sheriff Mosier said the suspect shot all three family members “in the upper body.”
Joshua Norwood received treatment at a local hospital and spent the night in a hotel, according to authorities. Family members have traveled from Maine to stay with him, Sgt. James Hartman said.
The state medical examiner will perform autopsies on the bodies of Mrs. Norwood and Wyatt.
Mr. Hook declined to say whether he would seek to have the suspect tried as an adult. The case will start in Fauquier County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court after Levi Norwood’s return to Virginia.
The defendant faces two counts of murder, with other charges likely, Mr. Hook said.
The Fauquier school board and administrators met Sunday morning to review the crisis intervention plan for helping students and staff members when classes resume Tuesday after the Presidents’ Day holiday.
Counselors and psychiatrists will be available throughout the system, but especially at Mary Walter Elementary, where Wyatt attended the first grade, and at Liberty High School in Bealeton, where Levi Norwood was a junior.
How do counselors and teachers explain what happened to first-graders?
“It’s more about listening and gauging what they’re concerned about,” said Frank Finn, assistant school superintendent for student services. “Some will think, ‘Could something happen to me’?”
School officials will send information — including recommendations from the National Association of School Psychiatrists — to parents to help them deal with the issues, Mr. Finn added.
“I don’t remember having anything remotely like this,” said Mr. Finn, a 12-year veteran of the school system, noting that student deaths in the past have activated plans for emergency counseling.
His office also has counseling services available to deputies who might struggle with what they saw Friday night in the Norwood home, Sheriff Mosier said.
The sheriff called it “a devastating experience for the family and for anyone who knows them, but it’s a small community. This has widespread effects. How do you explain it?”
Law enforcement and school officials refused to talk about whether Levi Norwood had presented any discipline problems or threat at Liberty High.
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torosian · February 19, 2020 at 9:19 am
Mr. Norwood, I can only try and imagine the grief that you are going through. If you were in front of me today, I would just hug you. You are in my prayers for strength. So many people don't know what to do in times like these and I want you to know that you are in my waking thoughts. I am a stranger to you but you are weighing heavily on my mind. I wish I could help you in someway....to lighten your burden. May God's love surround you in this time of need. Suzanne Torosian
ChrisNovosel · February 18, 2020 at 9:28 am
Josh, man I am so sorry bud!! I haven't seen you since our snake days at Outback Reptiles. What I know is a guy who loves his family and and would go out of his way for his friends and family. I met them a couple times when we would meet up and they were very nice. I am truly sorry my friend. I cannot begin to imagine what your going thru. Hit me up on FB if you need anything or just want to talk.
Kathy Jackson · February 18, 2020 at 8:43 am
Mr. Norwood, you have my deepest sympathy and prayer. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I cannot imagine what your entire family is going through. We are praying for you. God bless and keep you and entire family.
josh norwood · February 17, 2020 at 9:52 pm
There were no threats made to the school by levi and if they were Jen and myself were never made aware.
I am far from a neo nazi,or anything like that, and if he was ever reported to have done or said these things it would have been dealt with and this could have been prevented.
The fact of the matter is my wife and child are gone and this is not what is needed now, the memory of Wyatt and Jen needs to be the focus , not the evil murderer that took them away..
RIP Sweet chunky baby!
RIP my beautiful wife !
I love and miss you both with all my heart and soul!
jeepster17 · February 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm
He has made a bunch of threats at our school! He used to go around saying he was going to be a school shooter making jokes about it. He bragged about his dad being a neo-nazi. It was reported to the school, our teachers were told many times. He even threatened to bring a machete to school. Seriously? This is our school and the county allowed this to happen.
josh norwood · February 17, 2020 at 2:18 pm
Thank you Bob!
It means a lot, and Wyatt and Jen would be so happy to see how everyone cares so much for them.
Its so unreal and hasnt even hit me fully yet, I feel ashamed even posting online given whats going on , it just helps to talk about my amazing wife and incredible son.Sunday memorial is really going to hit hard.
RIP Sweet chunky baby, RIP Jen aka Babe
ConcernedMom · February 17, 2020 at 2:16 pm
I can't pretend that I understand what this family is going through. However, I can offer prayers for you all through this tragic time.
I also want to say that as a community I've seen a lot of negative comments. People need to think about what they type before they do and how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. So, if you have nothing nice to say just say nothing. This family is going through enough without all of this BS drama.
Carry on their legacy in your heart and God bless you.
AngryBob · February 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm
We're all heartbroken over your loss. I can't even imagine what you must be going through. My family and I will pray for you and yours. Remember that the whole community mourns with you.
josh norwood · February 16, 2020 at 8:01 pm
Mark I am the father of Wyatt and husband of Jen
No the murderer that was once known as my son was not investigated for threats.
He was not known as a trouble maker and no red flags for us as parents to know otherwise this could have been prevented.
I want no more comments like that, please just memories of Jen and Wyatt !
I love and miss you my sweet baby Wyatt and my babe Jen RIP
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