‘Shock and disbelief’: Community members react to shooting that injured Norton Police Chief

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NORTON, Va. (WJHL) – Norton, Virginia community leaders spoke out as their police chief recovers from a shooting.

Virginia State Police said Chief of Police James Lane was shot by a suspect while responding to a call Friday. Police said the suspect was also shot.

“I, like most of the community members, were in shock and disbelief that something like this could happen in our community,” Norton Mayor Joseph Fawbush said.

Mayor Fawbush said there has been an outpouring of support from both the community and regional law enforcement for Chief James Lane.

Chief Lane remains in recovery at Johnson City Medical Center where he and the suspect James Buckland were airlifted Friday night.

Ballad Health’s CEO tweeted Lane was shot twice.

Earlier the City of Norton released this statement reading in part:

“Chief Lane had surgery last night and his condition is stable at this time. We continue to ask for your prayers and support. Any information regarding the investigation should be directed to Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp or the Virginia State Police.”

Virginia State Police took over the investigation.

VSP said Lane was shot while responding to a call about a shoplifter at a business on Commonwealth Drive.

Police said the suspect, identified as James Buckland, allegedly shot at Lane’s vehicle as he approached him and that Lane was hit, they said that’s when Lane shot back.

State Police said another Norton officer shot at Buckland as well and that they found a gun belonging to Buckland at the scene.

“I’m very proud of our emergency services for their quick and efficient response to this incident,” Fawbush said. “I’m proud of our commonwealth’s attorney’s office as well for stepping in and issuing warrants as speedy as they did so this individual is not out in the public again.”

News Channel 11 is told Buckland is charged with attempted capitol murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“I would like to ask everyone to please keep James Lane and his family in their prayers as he recovers from this incident, and we do wish him the best and a speedy recovery,” Fawbush said.

News Channel 11 reached out to the Commonwealth Attorney for an update on Buckland’s condition and are waiting to hear back.

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