(WFXR) – The Lynchburg Police Department released additional details about a man who was found dead inside of an Amherst County home Saturday night, saying that he was facing charges in connection with threats sent to authorities over Facebook Messenger.
At approximately 11:08 p.m. on Friday, June 3, the department says it started receiving direct messages threatening a mass shooting of law enforcement and judiciary employees. These messages continued through the early morning hours of Saturday, June 4, sparking an investigation by the department’s Special Investigations Division (SID).
By Saturday afternoon, officials say the SID detectives identified the owner of the Facebook profile as 35-year-old Joseph R. Lombard of Amherst.
According to police, a search warrant was obtained for Lombard’s residence on Newington Drive and the following criminal charges were issued for Lombard’s arrest:
- Threats to bomb or burn a building
- Threats of death or bodily injury to a person
- Harassment by computer
Virginia State Police reportedly sent their tactical team to help serve those warrants Saturday evening, but when the SWAT team tried to enter the home, they heard a gunshot from inside the house.
Since Lombard would not communicate with police after the shot was fired, authorities say they sent a robot inside the home, which led to the discovery of Lombard’s dead body, as well as a firearm near him.
Virginia State Police say none of their personnel fired their weapons over the course of the incident, which is under investigation by the Appomattox field office.