Sheriff: Man arrested after firing gun, running from authorities near Saltville


A Smyth County man is in custody after firing a gun and attempted to flee from police Tuesday night in Saltville.

According to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office, James Hunter Murphy, 43, of Saltville is charged with felony discharging of a firearm in an occupied dwelling and misdemeanor domestic assault and reckless handling of firearm charges.

According to deputies, they responded to a home on Pickle Hollow Road in Saltville about 6:27 p.m. Tuesday. The female caller said she was assaulted by a male. She also said the male was armed and making threats toward others.

Responders said the investigation revealed a man, identified as Murphy, had assaulted a female earlier that day. He’s also accused of firing a handgun inside the residence. No one was injured.

Murphy fled the home and into a wooded area nearby.

The sheriff’s office Emergency Response Team and a helicopter responded to look for Murphy, who was believed to be armed.

According to investigators, it took more than two hours to find Murphy, who was unarmed.

He was arrested around 9 p.m.

Hunter is being held without bond in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon pending arraignments in the Smyth County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court and the Smyth County General District Court.

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