RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Russell County authorities shared new details about an armed robbery Monday morning, revealing that suspects allegedly targeted a specific victim in a scam before tying them up, stealing their belongings and shooting at police during a pursuit.

According to Russell County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Chief Deputy Bill Watson, deputies were dispatched to a home around 1 a.m. Monday after a man was abducted in his home. When deputies arrived, they said a male victim told them that he was robbed by two suspects.

“They had entered his home at gunpoint, tied him up and had left in a white super duty Dodge truck,” Watson said. “My officers was looking at the stolen items that was taken and managed to track one of the stolen bank cards and found out a transaction had been made shortly after the abduction in Wythe County.”

After running the card, a description of the suspects was shared to all local law enforcement as well as Virginia State Police. Around 3 a.m., Smyth County deputies spotted the vehicle and initiated a pursuit.

According to a report from Smyth County Sheriff Chip Schuler, that pursuit led law enforcement throughout Smyth County and Marion, Virginia before the suspect’s vehicle was disabled after driving through several yards. Throughout the pursuit, officers reported gun shots from the vehicle.

Watson named two suspects arrested after the pursuit:

  • Delonda Swartz, of Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • Anthony Hawkins, of Kingsport, Tennessee.

A Smyth County report said a third suspect was involved as well. Their name has not yet been released.

Hawkins faces multiple felony charges, including two counts of attempted malicious wounding of law enforcement officers and one count of abduction/kidnapping. Watson said warrants connected to the initial incident are being obtained in Russell County.

Watson said the robbery was targeted and happened after communication between the victim and suspects.

“There had been some talk through the internet and things of that nature,” Watson said. “That the people wound up in our jurisdiction and committed these offences.”

Watson didn’t provide exact details of the communication, but warned residents of the area to be cautious in online communication and to verify the identity of those they communicate with.

“There’s so many scams going on, things of that nature,” Watson said. “People really need to be careful with who they’re communicating with. Especially through the internet.”