A Roanoke County firefighter is charged with holding his girlfriend at gunpoint and firing a shot near her during an incident early Sunday morning. Robert Kelly Stoots, 27, is charged with abduction, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, reckless handling of a firearm, brandishing a firearm, preventing someone from making a 911 call, assault and battery and driving under the influence, according to county police spokeswoman Teresa Hamilton Hall.
Stoots, who has worked for the county's Fort Lewis fire station for two years, has been placed on unpaid leave, Hall said.
Stoots initially was arrested early Sunday by Salem police on a charge of driving under the influence, Hall said. Stoots' girlfriend was a passenger in his truck when he was arrested. During their investigation, Hall said, Salem police learned that the woman had been held in the truck against her will, and that a gun at been pointed at her. Salem police contacted county police after concluding the incident started in Roanoke County.
According to a county police news release, the woman had spent the evening with Stoots at a party. When she asked him to take her home, he refused and drove her to the parking lot of the Masons Cove Volunteer Fire Department. Stoots is accused of pointing a handgun at her and later firing a shot, which was not aimed at her and did not hit anyone.
When he left the fire department parking lot and drove toward Salem, he was arrested on the DUI charge, Hall said.
Stoots was off duty and driving his private truck when the incident happened, Hall said.
Stoots is being held without bond in the Western Virginia Regional Jail.
Written by The Roanoke Times