Search Continues for Christmas Eve Shooting Suspect

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Harrisonburg Police are still looking for a suspect in a deadly shooting one mile outside downtown.

It happened after 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Police responded to a call on Commerce Drive, off North Main Street.

"They were called for report of a man suffering from gunshot wounds," said public information officer Mary Hope Vass. "Upon arrival, officers found the man lying unresponsive in the parking lot."

"The guy in the black Durango had pulled in with his kids," said Katrina Aleman, who lives next door. "And I seen a younger guy standing over on his porch. They were arguing. But I went back inside and went upstairs, and me and my dad heard gunshots. By the time we got back down, the guy was already laying down on the ground and you could see his eyes open and blood."

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, in a deadly shooting that shocked neighbors and shattered a cold, quiet Christmas Eve in Harrisonburg.

As Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day, police say the suspect - 27-year-old Delano D. Fitz - is still on the run. He is wanted on first-degree murder and gun charges.

On Tuesday afternoon, WHSV's Amelia Nahmias spoke with neighbors on the scene shortly after the shooting.

"I feel really bad, and it's really sad because tomorrow's Christmas. And to see all of this happening, it's just really bad," said one neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. "I never thought something like this could happen around here. Oh wow."

Police say the victim is also a 27-year-old man, but they still are not releasing his name.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's shooting turned this Christmas Eve into a day neighbors are trying desperately to forget.

"Oh my," Aleman said, "I threw up a couple times. I've never experienced this. I'm not from around here. I haven't been in this area very long but I'm not used to seeing something like that. I don't know how I can deeply express what I feel or my family right now, with someone's life just being taken."

As the search for Fitz continues, if you have any information that could lead to his arrest, police ask you to call Crimesolvers at (540) 574-5050. You can also text your tip to "CRIMES" (274637).


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