Sheriff: Suspect dead after officer-involved shooting in Washington County, Va.


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Authorities are investigating after an officer-involved shooting in Washington County, Virginia left a suspect dead.

According to a statement from Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis, the shooting occurred Thursday morning at the Economy Inn off of Exit 10 on Interstate 81.

Andis told News Channel 11 the suspect, a man, died following the shooting.

No officers were injured, according to Andis.

Virginia State Police investigators were at the motel throughout Thursday afternoon.

According to state police, Washington County deputies responded to the motel concerning a guest who was suspected of being in violation of a protective order.

“When the deputies arrived at the adult male’s motel room, he gave consent for both the room and his pickup truck to be searched,” VSP said in a release. “The searches resulted in the deputies recovering a firearm from the pickup truck and illegal narcotics from inside the motel room.”

State police say while deputies were taking him into custody, the suspect reached under a mattress and pulled out a handgun.

“One of the deputies discharged his firearm and struck the male subject,” VSP said. “Despite the efforts of the EMS crew at the scene, the man succumbed to his injuries.”

A handgun was recovered from inside the hotel room, according to VSP.

Washington County Chief Deputy Scott Snapp said the Bristol Virginia Police Department reached out to the Sheriff’s Office around 10 am. BVPD was not at the scene of the motel, but they requested WCSO check in on a matter related to a “protection order situation.”

Snapp could not say how many deputies responded to the Economy Inn, but he said deputies’ lives were endangered.

“I feel, based on what I’ve been advised of, that the officers were placed in a position where they had no choice. But I want, and the people and the public deserves to know that it’s been investigated by another party that’s not part of our agency,” Snapp said.

Snapp said any officers involved will be placed on leave, per WCSO policy.

“No officers were physically hurt,” he said. “Unfortunately, the long-term effect and having to be involved in a situation like that is something that the officer will have to have in their life forever now. That tragic situation.”

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