Virginia Governor Northam releases statement regarding the death of Big Stone Gap officer Michael Chandler, orders flags to be lowered


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam removes his mask to answer a question during a COVID-19 briefing at the Capitol in Richmond, Va, Wednesday Nov 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Following the fatal shooting of Big Stone Gap Police officer Michael Chandler, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) released a statement and ordered lowered flags across the state.

“Pam and I were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Big Stone Gap Police officer Michael Chandler, who was killed yesterday in the line of duty,” Northam said. “Mike was a dedicated public servant, a devoted husband and father, and a trusted member of the Big Stone Gap community.”

Saturday night Chandler succumbed to wounds sustained that same morning of November 13, where Virginia State Police (VSP) said he was called to a residence to perform a welfare check and was shot in an encounter with “at least one individual.”

According to a VSP release, a Big Stone Gap man was arrested for other charges in Lynn Garden Saturday night, and charges connected to the shooting are pending.

“Like law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth, he put his life on the line everyday in service to his fellow Virginians” Northam said. “And at only 29 years old, he made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Chandler passed away around 7 p.m. Saturday night with his family at his side, VSP said.

It was his 29th birthday.

“Please join me in sending prayers to his family, fellow officers, and all who loved him. I’m ordering Virginia flags be lowered on the day of his internment, in honor of Michael Chandler’s memory and sacrifice,” Northam said.

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