Man Shoots 4 at Virginia Rest Stop: Police

The suspect fled and was later found dead, police said

Virginia State Police

Four people were shot Sunday after an argument between a man and woman turned violent at a Frederick County, Virginia rest stop, Virginia State Police said.

Authorities said 34-year-old Cesar Juarez Avila and an unnamed woman "became engaged in a domestic dispute" at a rest stop on the southbound side of Interstate 81, near the 320 mile marker, in the Winchester, Virginia, area.

Police believe that when the dispute turned physical, people tried to intervene for the woman's safety. Avila then allegedly opened fire, shooting the woman and three men.

One man was airlifted to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of serious but not life-threatening injuries. The three other victims were taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance for injuries that were also not life-threatening, police said.

By the time Virginia State Police and the Frederick County Sheriff's Office responded at about 9:30 a.m., the suspect had fled in a Chevrolet Malibu.

Shortly after 12 p.m., a sheriff's deputy saw the suspect vehicle and attempted to pull it over along with state police, but "it sped away and a short pursuit ensued," according to authorities.

When authorities were able to force the Chevrolet Malibu to a stop, they said they witnessed shots being fired from inside.

"When troopers approached the vehicle, they located Avila in the driver's seat suffering from a gunshot wound," Virginia State Police said in a statement.

Avila was taken to Winchester Medical Center, where he later died, police said.

A handgun was recovered from inside the suspect vehicle. Officers and deputies did not fire their weapons during the incident, police said.

The rest stop was closed and reopened at around 4 p.m. Sunday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Virginia State Police by calling 540-829-7766 or emailing

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

Contact Us