Shots could be seen and heard popping and pinging around an Accomack deputy in a video played in Accomack Circuit Court Thursday that was taken from a body camera after a mentally ill man began firing a gun at officers in Quinby last December.
Eighteen-year-old Anthony Dwayne Baumgardner, of Creekview Lane, was told to put the gun down numerous times by Sgt. C. Hodgson, who continued to tell the shooter that he didn’t want to, but he would shoot the young man if he didn’t comply. Hodgson had pulled his firearm and was pointing it at the defendant.
At one point, Baumgardner urged Hodgson to shoot. “Please shoot me,” the young man said. “I’m having a bad day. Come on shoot me.”
Hodgson continued to shout at Baumgardner urging him to put his weapon down. Baumgardner eventually ran out of ammo. He then went inside the house and returned wielding a machete.
As the two yelled back and forth, a woman could also be heard telling Baumgardner to put down the gun. She said the gun wasn’t real. It was the voice of Mary Jane Glaser, who raised Baumgardner.
Glaser requested police come to her home that day because Baumgardner had become “verbally out of control.” Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said, “a mere 30 seconds later,” she called back to say there was no need to respond. However, the officers were already on their way.
Morgan stated when Sgt. Hodgson got out of his squad car, Baumgardner was outside yelling and started shooting. Glaser was on the front porch. Deputy C. Kenlon was apparently taking a statement from her when the other officer arrived and Baumgardner began shooting.
Backup was requested and the events were reported to a police dispatcher.
While the video playing Thursday, a man identified by a spectator as the defendant’s brother, Billy, yelled something about the squad car. He then stood and bailiffs instructed him to leave. The man hesitated for a moment watching the video as it continued to play for a courtroom full of people who were looking back and forth from the man to the film.
In a plea agreement, Baumgardner admitted to six of 15 indictments. Those included attempted aggravated murder of Hodgson and Kenlon, use of a firearm in each of the attempted murders, shooting at an occupied dwelling, and destruction of property belonging to the sheriff’s office. The dwelling was a neighbor’s house. The sheriff’s property was a police car that was struck by gunfire.
The charges not prosecuted included attempted malicious wounding of both officers, use of a firearm in those attempts, assault of each officer, reckless handling of a firearm, brandishing a firearm, and brandishing a machete or weapon with an exposed blade that was 12 inches or longer.
Judge W. Revell Lewis III said the maximum punishment for the six charges was more than two life terms and a fine of $302,500. The mandatory term for two counts of use of a firearm in a felony is six years. The plea deal put a cap of 12 years on the total sentence. Baumgardner also waived his rights to search and seizure.
Defense lawyer Garrett Dunham said his client cut himself in the neck in an attempt to commit suicide during the incident. “In the beginning of the jail stay, he was unruly.” After being treated at Eastern State Hospital and getting on new medicine “he was much easier to deal with,” Dunham said.
A long-form presentence report and a mental health report were ordered. Baumgardner was remanded to jail to await sentencing on Jan. 11, 2024.