Pursuit suspect shot after intentionally striking VSP trooper head-on

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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR News) – One person has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an early-morning police chase in Wythe County.

According to police, the incident began around 1:40 a.m. when a VSP trooper was traveling south on I-81 near the 98-mile marker in Pulaski County. Officials located a 2008 Dodge pickup truck that had been reported stolen out of Pulaski County. 

The trooper pulled in behind the vehicle and activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. 

Officials said the stolen truck refused to stop and the pickup sped away from the trooper. A pursuit was initiated. 

Police said during the pursuit the driver of the stolen pick-up fired several shots at the state troopers vehicle.  

The trooper was not injured. 

The pursuit continued south on I-81 and into the town of Wytheville and ended once the trooper lost sight of the stolen Dodge pickup.

State police and the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for the pursuit/stolen vehicle.

According to police, at approximately 2:09 a.m., the abandoned Dodge pickup truck was located on Barrett Mill Road. State police K9 teams and aviation were called in to assist with searching for the stolen vehicle’s driver. 

Police said at 3:45 Thursday morning Wytheville Police stopped a suspicious vehicle on West Railroad Avenue.

Officers determined that the female driver of this vehicle was acquainted with the pursuit suspect and was driving around looking for him, too. 

During the course of that conversation, a pursuit of a Ford F-350 pickup truck was initiated.

Police said that Ford pickup truck continued into the town limits, drove over an embankment and was headed to where the female and town police were stopped.

During the course of this pursuit, the stolen pickup truck rammed a Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputy and then intentionally hit head-on a Virginia State Police Trooper. The crash took place on West Railroad Avenue in Wytheville.

Shots were fired on the scene by both Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputies and a Virginia State Police Trooper.

Police confirmed that a white man was the driver of the pickup truck.

He has been transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries sustained in the shooting. A firearm was recovered from inside the black Ford F-350, which was stolen in Wythe County.

Both the Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputy and Virginia State Police Trooper were transported to Wythe Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries from the crash. 

The pursuit and officer-involved shooting remain under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office.

In accordance with State Police policy, the trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. Charges are pending.

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