Man killed in Virginia campground scuffle
MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – What happened behind the gates of a Middle Peninsula campsite resort that caused things to spiral out of control?
It’s the question that has Middlesex investigators working around the clock and neighbors buzzing about the death of their friend Edwin Barry Hughes. Loved ones and friends called him Barry.
Sheriff David Bushey told CBS 6 News that it all started at the Bush Park Camp Resort Saturday at the end of a popular dance held at the site. Bushey said Hughes was a registered guest and late in the evening Hughes got into a fight with a security guard.
A broken-hearted Charlotte Ballard couldn’t stop tears from falling as she talked about neighbor Barry Hughes. “If it was foul play then somebody needs to pay for what they did to Barry. He was a good person. He was one of the best neighbors I ever had. It’s such a shock”, Ballard cried.
Sheriff Bushey said when his officers got to the scene they found a breathing, but unresponsive Hughes on the ground next to a guard shack. He was put in an ambulance to be taken to the Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester, but died on the way there.
“This is still an ongoing investigation and our guys are still running down leads, interviewing people in and out of the area,” Major Mickey Sampson explained.
We spoke to a Bush Park Camp Resort manager who didn’t go on camera. He said it’s a tragedy but they still don’t have all the answers. That manager alleged Hughes had been drinking and when he left the campground driving a golf cart with no headlights on, a security guard stopped him for it.
The manager claimed Hughes charged the security guard, who then radioed the others who were near the front entrance. At the gate by that entrance is where the rest of the story gets murky.
Investigators say word of Hughes’ death spread around the tiny close-knit community very fast. “It’s a small community and when something like this happens there is a buzz. The rumor mill takes over but I want to encourage people not to ad lib, not to embellish this story any more,” Sampson said.
Friends told CBS 6 News that Hughes lived in the Bush Park Mobile Home Park next to the camp site for about three years. They say he also worked as an electrician for Henrico County.
We spoke with his co-workers there on Tuesday morning who were devastated by the news. Others in Hughes’ neighborhood say they can’t wrap their minds around what happened.
Tom Slusher, a friend of Hughes said no one there expected anything like this. He told CBS 6 News that one of Hughes’ daughters graduated from Longwood University on Saturday and a proud Hughes attended the commencement.
Slusher says it seems surreal. He can’t believe that same night, his friend was dead. “I can’t think of Barry having any enemies. He was like Johnny on the spot, always helping someone. He was an all around good guy,” Slusher added.
Neighbors echoed the same sentiments. Ballard says when she underwent knee replacement surgery, it was Hughes who came over to cut her grass and take her trash to the dump. She said he even called her during the day to check on her.
“I just want his parents to know they had a good son. He was a good person and he will be missed” Ballard said.
Investigators say word of Hughes being hit in the head with a steel pipe isn’t true. They are now waiting on the Medical Examiner’s office to declare a cause of death.
When that information comes in, investigators will confer with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to see if an arrest and charges are warranted.
Stay with CBS 6 News for updates on this developing story.