‘Nothing short of a miracle’: Huntersville man one of 3 shot while rescuing woman from domestic violence in Va.

The shooting happened at a Frederick County Rest Area along Interstate 81 Sunday (Dec. 26) morning.
‘Nothing short of a miracle’: Huntersville man one of 3 shot while rescuing woman from domestic violence in Va.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 1:27 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 3:10 PM EST
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FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. (WBTV) - A Huntersville man is one of three men who were shot while trying to help save a woman from domestic violence at a rest stop in Virginia.

The shooting happened at a Frederick County Rest Area along Interstate 81 Sunday (Dec. 26) morning.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., officials say a man and woman were in a domestic dispute at the southbound I-81 Rest Area at the 320 mile marker.

When the dispute turned physical, several people tried to intervene for the woman’s safety. Police say the 34-year-old male, Cesar Juarez Avila, then began firing at the woman and people who had intervened.

The woman and three men were shot. Avila fled the Rest Area driving a Chevrolet Malibu.

The woman and two men were taken to one hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. A third man was flown to a different hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the men was 33-year-old Wade Davenport, from Huntersville.

”There was a female screaming for help and the guy’s on top of her,” Davenport said.”

Authorities secured the rest area and began actively following up on leads concerning Avila’s whereabouts.

Shortly after 12 p.m. Sunday, a deputy spotted the Chevrolet Malibu. When the sheriff’s deputy and state police pulled in behind the Chevrolet, it sped away and a short pursuit ensued.

Law enforcement positioned their vehicles around the suspect vehicle and forced it to a stop. When troopers approached the vehicle, they located Avila in the driver’s seat suffering from a gunshot wound.

Avila was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. Avila’s body was taken for autopsy and examination.

Officials say no law enforcement discharged their weapons during the course of the incident. A handgun was recovered from inside the Malibu.

Wade was with his wife Lauren when they saw everything unfold, and sprung into action to rescue the woman.

”I was just like, ‘Wade go, go, go,’ and he handed me the dog. And we both sprinted across the parking lot,” Lauren Davenport said.

“You know, I was raised in a family that you just don’t touch a woman. So when you hear someone yelling for help like that, you just kind of help them out,” Wade Davenport said.

The Davenports said everything was under control, the two were separated, the police were called and the people who came to the woman’s aid were relaxed.

But in seconds, calm turned into chaos.

”Next thing, I know I see the shooter turn around, point the gun straight at Wade at his head while Wade’s running away, so right now, that’s the scene that’s constantly going through my head,” Lauren Davenport said.

Wade Davenport was shot in the face. He said there was an entry wound in the back of his neck behind his ear and the bullet went through his sinus cavity. It fractured some bones in his cheek, according to Wade Davenport.

Doctors used the words baffling and lucky to describe Wade’s situation.

”I definitely feel like someone was watching me that day, especially since it could have been a lot worse,” Wade Davenport said.

”Yeah I’d say it’s nothing short of a miracle,” Lauren Davenport said.

When I asked if they’d do it again, Wade said he would absolutely.

“I don’t want to speculate but we feel that woman wouldn’t be here whether in that moment or sometime down the road if we didn’t intervene,” Wade Davenport said.

Wade is not calling himself a hero. He says many people would have stepped in.

”A lot of people would have done the same thing if they were in that situation,” Wade Davenport said.

However, Lauren Davenport calls her husband a hero.

”I do think he is, as well as all the other people involved,” Lauren Davenport said. “We didn’t know how this was going to turn out but we still made a big difference in that woman’s life.”

The two other men who were shot, one in the neck and one in the chest, are expected to be OK and make full recoveries.

The woman in the middle of all of this is, police say, is also supposed to recover from her gunshot wound.

The incident remains under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office.

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