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Condition of shooting victims upgraded

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Suspect released from hospital, taken to jail

By Tom Wilmoth

    The condition of the two victims from last week’s Haven Heights Drive shooting has been upgraded to stable, according to Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown.

    At least one of those victims should be able to talk with investigators soon, he added.
    Meanwhile the man charged in the shootings, 55-year-old Dennis Roy Caldwell, has been released from the University of Virginia Medical Center into the custody of authorities from the Blue Ridge Regional Jail. Caldwell was expected to be moved this week into a medical facility with the jail in Lynchburg.
    Caldwell has been charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the August 15 shootings of his brother, 61-year-old Glen Caldwell, and   his  nephew, 35-year-old  Michael Caldwell. He suffered burn inhalation from a fire at his home, where he staged a four-hour standoff with police prior to being rescued from his burning home.
    Brown said Dennis Caldwell requested a lawyer when investigators attempted to speak with him at the hospital.
    The shootings, according to Brown, were over a dispute of music that was too loud. That was not a new issue between the relatives, according to police. In just over two years, 59 calls had been placed to law enforcement from Dennis Caldwell’s residence at 1497 Haven Heights Dr., just west of Bedford off U.S. 460.
    Brown said a majority of those calls dealt with a dispute between Caldwell and his brother and nephew over loud music, and included several verbal altercations. There had also been at least two physical altercations, but “nothing that would raise a red flag that someone was going to start shooting,” Brown said.
    The two men had been in court several times.
    No witnesses to the Aug. 15 shooting have been found and Brown said neighbors of the Caldwells said they didn’t believe the level of violence would escalate to what it did last Monday afternoon. “I don’t know that anybody thought it would come to this,” he said.
    Brown said that while it is not known whether Dennis Caldwell was trying to kill himself in the fire, following the shootings, he had indicated during brief conversations with law enforcement during the standoff “that he wanted to die.”
    Smoke was noticed at the home when law enforcement responded and the fire eventually engulfed the home.
    Firefighters responding to the standoff pulled Caldwell from the fire at his home around 7:15 p.m., almost four hours after the 911 call about the shootings. Brown said the firefighters saved Caldwell’s life. They found him in the basement of the home, unconscious, with a .45-caliber pistol next to him. That gun is what police believe he used to shoot the two victims.
    A 20-gauge shotgun and a significant amount of ammunition was also believed to be in the home.
    Glen Caldwell was shot three times—in the abdomen, hip and leg—and Michael Caldwell was shot in the leg and upper chest area.
    The 911 call was placed by a relative who received a call from one of the victims about the shooting.
    Brown said he was pleased with the efforts and cooperation from both law enforcement and the fire and rescue squads that responded to the shooting. “Could it have turned out different? It certainly could have,” he said of not having anyone else injured during the standoff.
    Law enforcement found a video camera, pointed out the window, and a computer in the home of Glen Caldwell, which is next door to his brother. Brown, however, said the camera was apparently “just for show” because it wasn’t hooked up. The computer is still being analyzed by investigators.
    Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz is expected to head up the trial team in the Caldwell case.
    Meanwhile, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney  Wes Nance will be heading up the trial team in the case against Michael Loboschefski, who is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 25-year-old Aubrey Michell Bryan. Bryan died following a shootout on Johnson Mountain Road on Aug. 11. Brown said no additional charges have been filed, but said that the shooting investigation is ongoing.