Investigation of shootings continues

Published 9:37 am Friday, December 22, 2017

Franklin Police Department detectives continue their searches in both the homicide that took place on Sunday, as well as the double shootings on Tuesday. As yet, suspects in either case have not been found.

As previously reported, officers had responded on Dec. 17 at 7:15 p.m. to a report of shots heard in the 500 block of West Second Avenue. There the police found two vehicles that had been hit by bullets. A victim was also reported to have been seen limping away.


The Southampton County Sheriff’s Department assisted with a tracking canine, according to police spokesman Capt. Tim Whitt. Later, the body of a Franklin man was found in water adjacent to West Second Avenue. The Virginia State Police Dive Team had aided in recovery. The man was discovered to be Brandon Lee Leonard, 26, whose last known address was on Center Street, said Whitt.

The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m., in East End Apostolic Faith Church, Franklin.

On Wednesday, the captain reported that city police were again called to a report of gunfire, this time at 10:19 p.m. on Dec. 19 in the 300 block of Madison Street.

While investigating, the officers received information that two gunshot victims had arrived at Southampton Memorial Hospital. The police learned that two Franklin men, ages 29 and 22, were being treated for such wounds. Officers attempted to interview the victims, however, they were reportedly uncooperative. The men were later taken to a local trauma center for further treatment, and their condition was listed as stable.

There are multiple crime scenes attached to this incident as three houses were struck by gunfire. There were no additional injuries associated with the houses being struck. Multiple cartridge casings of various pistol and rifle calibers were recovered.

In both cases, said Whitt, the investigators are awaiting lab results of collected evidence, which was sent to Norfolk for processing.

Anyone who may have information about this crime is asked to call Franklin Police at 562-8575 or Franklin Crime Solvers at 562-8599. Information that leads to an arrest can earn the caller a cash reward while remaining anonymous.