Man confronts estranged wife with gun at her job

Police: Suspect shoots at wife
A man reportedly confronted his estranged wife with a gun at her job.
       
BY DAVID CHERNICKY
247-4743

April 30 2005

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA -- A man suspected of shooting his estranged wife at her workplace Friday afternoon surrendered to Newport News police officers about an hour later.

A police spokeswoman said witnesses identified the suspect as a man who walked into Dominion Physical Therapy on Thimble Shoals Boulevard in Oyster Point and confronted his estranged wife in her office. As the two were arguing, the husband drew a pistol and fired several shots at the 43-year-old woman, police said. Another employee reported the shooting in a 911 call shortly before 4 p.m.

Police later charged Thomas Wayne Caudle, 39, on several counts related to the shooting. He was in custody late Friday without bail.

The bullets hit the woman several times in the lower body, including the legs, Hileman said. The assailant turned and ran from the office.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Riverside Regional Medical Center. Hileman did not have a condition Friday night, but said the wounds did not appear life threatening.

Police recovered a number of bullet casings.

As police interviewed witnesses and were canvassing neighboring offices, officers learned of a suspect's capture behind DHL Worldwide Express, about a mile away.

A patrol officer found the suspect's blue Plymouth Voyager abandoned in the parking lot at Oyster Point Family Practice, about a mile from the site of the shooting, Hileman said. Police secured the area with yellow tape, and waited for two canine officers and their tracking dogs to assist in a search.

Master Police Officer John Tarter and his bloodhound, Dakota, and Master Police Officer Jeff Wright with his tracking dog, a German shepherd, Chase, pulled up minutes later.

The dogs led the officers across a nearby ditch knee high with muddy water and along another ditch line about 350 yards to an open concrete pipe on the bank.

"We went right up to him," Tarter said. "The man was soaking wet, hiding in a drainage pipe," Tarter, Dakota's handler, said.

When the suspect saw the large brown bloodhound, German shepherd and the three uniformed officers he backed out of the pipe and raised his arms, officers said.

Kathy Haddox, a paralegal for a local attorney whose office is a few doors away, heard screams but no gunfire.

"Were there gunshots?" Haddox asked. "That's a little scary."

When she glanced out the window, Haddox said she saw the door of that office open and a man leave. She watched the man climb in a blue mini-van that sped away.

Haddox said she later watched paramedics wheel a woman on a gurney to an awaiting ambulance.
Copyright 2005, Daily Press