Indictment issued in re-enactor’s shooting

Published 10:23 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—A 29-year-old Norfolk man is expected to turn himself in to county authorities on Tuesday, after having been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly wounding a 73-year-old Civil War re-enactor in September.

Joshua Silva is charged with reckless handling of a firearm, a Class 1 misdemeanor, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer.

“This was not an intentional act,” Farmer said, adding, “there is no evidence to suggest that there was any ill will or any animosity,” between Silva and the victim, Thomas R. Lord Sr., of Suffolk.

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“They didn’t know each other,” Farmer said.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff C.W. “Charlie” Phelps did not identify Silva, but he said the suspect had been contacted and had agreed to come to the county sheriff’s office on Tuesday.

The charge stems from an incident at Heritage Park on Sept. 27, during the filming of a Civil War documentary. Lord, a Union re-enactor, was shot in the back with a pistol. A .45-caliber lead ball went through Lord’s shoulder blade and exited his chest. He was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Norfolk for treatment and released two days later.

Investigators were able to identify a man who allegedly fired the shot by looking through 10 to 15 minutes of footage from at least two cameras. They questioned that man, whom police believed to be a walk-on in a Confederate uniform and not a re-enactor, on Oct. 31. It was not clear if Silva was the man who was questioned by investigators.

Alderwerks, a Virginia Beach production company, was filming the documentary about the 1864 Overland Campaign. Casting VA of Washington, D.C., handled the casting, and Matt Burchfield was the director for the film.

A woman who answered the phone at Lord’s residence said, “at this time we cannot make a comment legally.”