Uncle: Family of suspect in Va. shootings stunnedBy PAM RAMSEY , Associated Press
Apr. 14, 2013 4:15 PM ET
The family of a man charged with wounding two women at a community college shooting in southwest Virginia is stunned and worried about the school's students and faculty, the suspect's uncle said Sunday.
"It's a very difficult situation," Stewart MacInnis said in a telephone interview.
Police arrested MacInnis' nephew, 18-year-old Neil Allan MacInnis, minutes after the shootings Friday at a satellite campus of New River Community College at a mall in Christiansburg. MacInnis was being held Sunday at the Montgomery County Jail on two counts each of malicious wounding and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
"We're just absolutely stunned, devastated," Stewart MacInnis said. "We are concerned about the victims and the families. We wish them the best. This is a tough situation for them. They deserve to get well quickly and completely."
He said the family also is worried about the people at the satellite campus when the shootings occurred.
"This has impacted them greatly as well and our thoughts are with them as well. For the students, we just hope that they continue their studies. It's a barrier that I hope they can get over and continue," said Stewart MacInnis, who is director of media relations at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
He declined to comment about his nephew but said Neil MacInnis does not yet have a lawyer.
Investigators said Friday that they don't know what motivated the shootings. Authorities have not said what type of weapon was used or how it was obtained.
A Christiansburg spokeswoman, Becky Wilburn, said in an email Sunday that the victims' names won't be released to protect their privacy. She also said authorities do not plan to provide further information on their conditions. On Saturday, she said they were in stable condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart said he could not provide any information. Roanoke is about 35 miles from Christiansburg.
The shootings occurred in a section of the New River Valley Mall that had been converted to classrooms for the community college.
Classes on Monday and Tuesday at both the Christiansburg campus and at the main campus in Dublin have been canceled. Counseling services will be available.
Police Chief Mark Sisson said Friday that authorities were investigating online postings reportedly made by Neil MacInnis before the shooting but that he was unable to confirm whether those postings were legitimate.
Christiansburg is a town of about 21,000 in southwest Virginia, less than 10 miles from Blacksburg, home to Virginia Tech.