Margie Rhea Ramey, 72
ROGERSVILLE — A Virginia couple who took their five children on an outing at Bays Mountain Park Sunday afternoon were greeted with gunfire shortly after crossing the Hawkins County line in an attempt to take a scenic route home.
Oscar Scott of Rose Hill, Va. told the Times-News that he and his family decided to explore a scenic way back into Virginia through Hawkins and Hancock counties.
Almost immediately after crossing the Hawkins County line, however, they came upon Bays Mt. Road which runs adjacent to the Sullivan County line.
“We came around the side of the mountain and saw a road that turned to the right that said Bays Mt. Road,” Scott said. “We figured we’d take it and see if it came out at Bays Mountain Park. We got pretty far down that road and you could see where it turned into an old log road, so I put the vehicle in reverse to turn around.”
Scott added, “Just as I got it into reverse she started shooting at us.”
Scott said a woman sitting on her porch about 150 feet from the road fired two shots at the 1999 Chevy Tahoe he was driving. One shot actually hit the running board on the passenger side just a few feet from where his five children, ages 4-12, were seated.
The alleged shooter was identified as Margie Rhea Ramey, 72, 652 Bays Mt. Road, Rogersville.
Scott reported the shooting to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, and Sgt. Michael Allen responded to the scene.
“During a field interview Mrs. Ramey openly admitted to shooting her rifle towards the vehicle because she has had a continuous problem with people tearing up her driveway,” Allen said.
Ramey was charged with seven counts of felony reckless endangerment.
Scott said he hadn’t even begun to back into her driveway when Ramey fired a .22 caliber rifle at them. He said he had no choice but to use her driveway to turn around because the road is so narrow.
Scott said there were several people sitting on the porch beside her when she fired.
“I hadn’t even begun to turn my wheels to pull in her driveway,” Scott said. “I just put my vehicle in reverse, and just as quickly as I put it in reverse I heard her hollering and my little boy said, ‘does she got a gun’. About that time she started shooting.”
Scott said the house was on the right side of the road and the bullet hit the passenger side of the vehicle, which he said shows he wasn’t even in her driveway when she fired.
“She fired one shot and my wife hollered and told her we’re just turning around, and then she shot again,” Scott said. “At the end of her drive going up to her house she did have a no trespassing sign. But I couldn’t very well put a vehicle in reverse and back up four miles down the road. The road isn’t even wide enough for two vehicles, and at the end there it’s barely wide enough for one.”
Scott added, “We got out of there pretty well as fast as we could. I still don’t really know what her problem was. I don’t know what’s happened to her in the past, but me, my wife and five kids weren’t doing anything wrong. I know you can’t shoot at somebody for turning around in your driveway.”
Ramey was released from the Hawkins County Jail on $1,000 bond Sunday night. She was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court, and was appointed a public defender.
Ramey’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.