The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Standoff charges advance in city
Richard Dovidio was sitting at his home computer on Oct. 31 when his evening turned “unbelievable.”
He said that a neighbor at the Commons at Cowan Boulevard—someone he’d had run-ins with before—50-year-old Michael Allen Bailey, shot out his sliding glass door with a .22-caliber rifle. Dovidio said the man “unloaded his clip” into his Fredericksburg apartment.
By the time the ordeal was over, Dovidio had been shot three times and Cowan Boulevard had been shut down for nearly six hours after the alleged shooter barricaded himself inside his nearby apartment.
Judge John R. Stevens sent multiple charges against Bailey to a grand jury Thursday following a preliminary hearing in Fredericksburg General District Court. The charges include malicious wounding, burglary and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The bad blood between Dovidio and Bailey was nothing new. Court records show that the two had altercations last June and September that ended up in court, and Dovidio on Thursday described in court their relationship as “rocky.”
But Dovidio testified that nothing happened Oct. 31 to explain the violent outburst.
File photos from the night of the incident
He said their only encounter that day came when Bailey patted his dog and Dovidio said he told him to “go your way and I’ll go mine.”
Bailey didn’t testify at Thursday’s hearing, but city Detective Wayne Hunnicutt said the accused gave a different version of their Oct. 31 encounter when he made a statement to police several days after his arrest.
Hunnicutt said Bailey claimed the men had a heated exchange that day that ended with Dovidio vowing to kill him at midnight.
Some of their prior disputes involved alcohol, but in response to questions from defense attorney Phillip Sasser, Dovidio insisted that he had nothing to drink that day until taking two shots of vodka after being shot.
Bullets struck Dovidio in the arm, back and buttocks, according to the evidence presented by city Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins.
Dovidio said he was treated and released from the hospital that same night, but two of the bullets remain in his body.
Numerous officers from the city and elsewhere flooded the area after the shooting. The apartment complex is next to the city police station.
Residents were told to stay inside their homes and those trying to get home were not allowed through the police perimeter.
At one point, Fredericksburg Officer Joe Young fired shots at Bailey after he came outside brandishing the rifle. Bailey claimed he was shot, but medical records indicate that he was not.
According to the evidence, Bailey suffers from schizophrenia and other mental ailments. He had been off his medication for several months at the time. He told Hunnicutt that he was trying to shoot Dovidio’s eyes out because “if he couldn’t see, he wouldn’t [expletive] with nobody no more.”
He also told Hunnicutt, according to testimony, that he was hoping to be killed by police that night because he was “tired of [messing] up.”
The rifle used in the shooting spree had been stolen from another neighbor’s apartment a couple of days earlier, according to the evidence. The owner told police that he didn’t realize the gun was missing until after the Oct. 31 incident.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404