Stafford shooting

Stafford County fire and rescue personnel hose down the parking lot in front of the 5 Twelve gas station in Stafford, Virginia on July 4, 2019. Two people were shot late Wednesday night and one died at the scene.

At least two of the three teenagers charged in connection with a fatal shooting this summer in North Stafford will be tried as adults.

The shooting took place late July 3 outside the 5 Twelve at 1075 Garrisonville Road. Troy Barnett, 20, of Stafford, was killed and Laura Guadalulpe Gomez–De La Cruz, 18, was shot in the head.

Gomez–De La Cruz was critically injured and is still recovering.

Three teens—17, 17, and 15—were arrested in August and charged with multiple offenses, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding and firearms charges. All three were students at North Stafford High School at the time of their arrests.

A preliminary hearing for the older teens was held Wednesday in Stafford County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Judge Andrea Stewart closed the hearing, which lasted about three and a half hours, to the public.

Charges against the 17-year-olds were sent to a circuit court following the hearing, meaning they are likely to be indicted when the next grand jury convenes on Nov. 4. Their names will appear in public records sometime between now and then.

Attorneys Peter Greenspun and Jim Ilijevich are representing the older teens.

The 15-year-old suspect testified against his codefendants Wednesday. His preliminary hearing has not yet taken place, so it is not clear if he will be tried as an adult. He is represented by attorney Terence Patton.

Few details about what led to the arrests have come out. More than 50 search warrants have been filed in connection with the case, but all of them have been sealed.

It appears that Barnett was the lone target of the shooter, but no motive has publicly emerged. Gomez–De La Cruz just happened to be with Barnett with the gunfire erupted.

The allegation is that only one of the suspects actually fired shots.

This story was updated to correct Troy Barnett's name.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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