Community reacts to Wise Co. officer-involved shooting, stabbing


WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Members of the Dunbar and Appalachia communities are responding following a shooting and stabbing Saturday that left a 16-year-old dead and a Wise County deputy hospitalized.

“It broke my heart,” Appalachia resident Dena Mawk said. “Robbie Robinson was a good deputy, he protects and serves everybody, he’s a really good person.” 

Mawk, like many Wise County residents, is shocked that a tragedy like this could hit so close to home.

“Wise County is a safe community,” Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton Chuck Slemp said. “We don’t have incidents like this often, unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more across the country like this. This community it’s a sleepy, quiet spot. We don’t see things like this.”

Members of the Town of Appalachia and Dunbar community are responding with overwhelming support and prayers for those involved after tragedy struck.

“I do plan on doing something special for Officer Robinson,” Appalachia Mayor Chase Christian said. “I think anytime an officer goes above and beyond the line of duty, he should be honored and show that we support policing in the community.”

Christian said in a phone interview Sunday that his heart goes out to the teens’ families as well.

“It’s extremely unfortunate and really touches my heart when I hear that young teenagers were involved in this,” Christian said. “Unfortunately, a life was lost, and other lives that could have been lost were prevented.” 

Mawk said she’s hoping Robinson and the community will see a speedy recovery.

“They protect and serve,” Mawk said. “I don’t think it’s right for what happened to the officers.” 

At this time, the investigation remains ongoing, and the identity of the teen killed has not been released. 

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