Stoots has been assigned to the Fort Lewis fire station for about three months, according to Chief Woody Henderson. He has worked for the county for about two years, Hall said, and has been placed on unpaid leave.
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