Two maintenance workers murdered from my home town


Staff member
Sep 4, 2007
Real Name
Robert Allen III 'Tre'
Business Location
United States
Gunman, two victims identified in rampage at Beach apartments

Police this afternoon identifed the man they say killed two maintenance employees at Thalia Gardens Apartments last night and then apparently killed himself.

The gunman was William T. Smith, 52, of the 4100 block of Inverness Road, said Margie Long, police spokeswoman.
The two victims are Rebecca Hughes, 32, of the 5300 block of Leicester Court in Virginia Beach; and Sam Shestul, 63, of the 1000 block of Woodrow Avenue in Norfolk.

Three people also were wounded, but police would not identify them. One is in critical condition and the other two were listed as stable, said police spokesman Adam Bernstein.

The maintenance workers and a manager at the apartment complex had gone to Smith’s apartment to do an inspection and start an eviction process, Bernstein said.
Smith began shooting at them without warning, Bernstein said. He was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a MAC 10, 9-mm handgun. “They were pretty much ambushed,” Bernstein said.


Police were called shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday to the apartments on Inverness where they found the body of a woman in a parking lot, Long said. They roped off the scene and, after a more than five-hour standoff, went into the apartment where they found Smith and another person dead. Police fired no shots.

The property is managed by S.L. Nusbaum Realty Company. The company has confirmed that some of the people who were killed or wounded were employees.
Michael R. Devine, a company vice president, spoke briefly with reporters at the site this morning. The employees who work on the site are considered part of the company's family, he said.


“We’re trying to get our family back together," said Devine, the company's vice president for multi-family housing. Grief counselors were being called to the complex, Devine said.

A fund is being established for the victims, Devine said, but the details still were being worked out this afternoon. “We’re working with the families,” Devine said. “They’ve had some devastating losses.”

William Halprin, a senior vice president with the real estate company, said company officials were at the complex all night.

"This is not something you learn in school and we’re just trying to figure out what to do today,” Halprin said.
Last night, one body was found on the ground outside the apartment building near the intersection of Inverness Road and Boggs Avenue. The other two bodies were found in the apartment where the gunman fled.

Within moments of the first of multiple calls to 911 dispatchers, police began to descend on the area and seal it off. Roadblocks were set up to close off several streets, and the city activated its reverse 911 phone system to call residents in the vicinity and alert them to the incident. Princess Anne High School also was placed under lock down.

At least one woman was taken to a hospital by ambulance while another victim was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by a helicopter that landed on a sports field behind Thalia Elementary School.

Shortly after 7 p.m., police began issuing orders by loudspeakers to the gunman to come out of the first floor apartment in the two-story, brick building where he was believed to have taken refuge. But there was no response.
Police then sent in a remote-controlled robot and pole-mounted cameras, often used for explosives investigations.
"Obviously, if we believe we have a shooter, we would rather send in the robot and have them shoot at that than send in police officers and have them start shooting at them," Bernstein said.

Police declared the scene secured at 10:23 p.m.yesterday. That allowed scores of people who had been blocked from reaching their homes, or told to remain inside their apartments behind locked doors, to again move freely.

Source: VA Virginia Pilot