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Minnesota Police Arrest Two Suspects in Nelson County Shooting

Posted: Updated: Aug 24, 2017 03:28 PM
Sean Castronia Sean Castronia
Penny Dawson Penny Dawson
Castronia paying for gas for stolen pickup truck Castronia paying for gas for stolen pickup truck
pickup truck believed to be stolen pickup truck believed to be stolen

UPDATE 08/24/2017:
Police have caught up with a couple wanted in connection with a shooting in Nelson County. 

Authorities arrested 42-year-old Sean Castorina and 40-year-old Penny Dawson at a gas station in Fergus Falls, Minnesota on August 23. 

Both are charged for shooting a Nelson County, Virginia woman earlier in the week. She is still recovering at the University of Virginia Medical Center. 

The couple is also wanted in connection with a missing North Carolina man.  

Castorina and Dawson will now be extradited back to Virginia.

Release from Virginia State Police 8/24/2017:

The two fugitives from North Carolina being sought in a Nelson County shooting are now in police custody. Shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Sean D. Castorina and Penny M. Dawson were apprehended by the Fergus Falls, Minn., Police Department. The two were arrested without incident at a gas station within that jurisdiction.

The two will be extradited back to Virginia to face charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm and grand larceny of a vehicle.

During the past two days, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, the Nelson County, Va., Sheriff’s Office, Burlington, N.C., Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service have been actively pursuing leads and searching for the couple.

The incident began Aug. 19, 2017, when the Burlington, N.C. Police Department received a report of a missing person. Mr. Harold Dean Simpson, 84, was last seen by his family at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Mr. Simpson’s silver 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was located by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 6:48 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 21. The vehicle, with North Carolina license plate EMA 8936, had been abandoned on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County.

During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 22) about a shooting victim at a residence on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found a 60-year-old female suffering from a gunshot wound. She continues to be treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., for serious injuries.

After the shooting, Castorina and Dawson fled the residence in a 2002 Dodge Dakota that belonged to the owner of the residence. The two were still driving the stolen pickup truck when apprehended in Minnesota.

The search continues for Mr. Simpson. Anyone with information related to Mr. Simpson’s disappearance is asked to still please contact the Burlington, N.C., Police or call 911 or, in Virginia, call #77 on a cell phone.


Original 08/23/2017:
The search continues for a North Carolina couple accused of a shooting in Nelson County. Virginia State Police are looking for 42-year-old Sean Castorina and 40-year-old Penny Dawson.

Both suspects now face charges from a shooting Tuesday night in a home on Laurel Road near Rockfish River.  The Nelson County Sheriff's Office responded to a call for a shooting around 7:30 Tuesday night.

They found a woman with a serious gunshot wound. She's undergoing treatment of at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Police are looking for a 2002 Dodge Dakota with North Carolina license plates. The vehicle was seen Wednesday night around 5 p.m. At Ashley’s Market on Route 151 in Afton. 

Investigators believe the suspects stole the vehicle from the scene of the shooting in Nelson County after ditching another stolen car from North Carolina. 

The 84-year-old owner of the car has not been seen since August 18.

Virginia State Police Press Release - Wednesday, August 23, 2017:

NORTH CAROLINA COUPLE CHARGED IN NELSON COUNTY SHOOTING

NELSON CO., Va. – A North Carolina couple faces charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm following a shooting at a Nelson County residence Tuesday (Aug. 22, 2017). Sean D. Castorina, 42, of Burlington, N.C., and Penny M. Dawson, 40, of Burlington, N.C., are both charged with those felony counts.

The incident began at 6:48 p.m. Monday (Aug. 20) when the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an abandoned Chevrolet Cobalt parked on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County. Further investigation revealed the Cobalt was registered to an elderly North Carolina man who had been reported missing to the Burlington, N.C. Police Department. Burlington, N.C. Police were also looking for Castorina and Dawson, who had been reported missing.

During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle and missing persons, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 22) about a shooting victim at a residence on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found an adult female suffering from a gunshot wound. She is currently being treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., for serious injuries.

Missing from the same residence is a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a medium-blue tailgate and custom, faded-red, squared-off bumper. The pickup truck has a North Carolina license plate, DHN 5418, affixed to the bumper.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are actively searching for Castorina and Dawson. Castorina has family in Norfolk, Va.

Both are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson and/or the missing pickup truck is encouraged to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone.