MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — A Henry County man is facing numerous charges after he reportedly broke into a Martinsville church while trying to escape from police following a shooting.

According to the Martinsville Police Department, officers responded to shots being fired in the roadway near the Food Lion on Brookdale Road on Friday, July 1.

Police say they spotted a vehicle matching the description of the one involved in the incident, but when they tried to stop the vehicle, the driver led them on a short pursuit that ended on Berkshire Place.

Authorities tell WFXR News the driver — who officers immediately recognized as Tommy Lee Marlowe of Bassett — jumped out of the vehicle and ran away.

While police were chasing Marlowe, the vehicle he was driving caught on fire, leaving it a total loss, according to officials.

A very short time later, the department says someone reportedly heard glass breaking near Forest Hills Presbyterian Church. When officers responded to the church, they noticed several broken windows and went inside.

Police say they found Marlowe hiding in the church and arrested him for the following charges:

  • Felony eluding police
  • Assault on law enforcement officers
  • Resisting arrest
  • Hit and run
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Breaking and entering
  • Felony destruction of property
  • Not having insurance
  • Not having registration

According to authorities, nobody was injured during the pursuit or the arrest of Marlowe, but the church sustained thousands of dollars in damages.