Suspect turns himself in after stealing pickup, handgun; Prompting security alert at Emory & Henry

A suspect behind an early morning manhunt in southwest Virginia has turned himself in, according to the Washington County, VA Sheriff’s Office. 

Matthew Allen Barr, age 26, was wanted by authorities for reportedly stealing a pickup truck and handgun from a Shell gas station located on exit 29 around 2;00 a.m. 

The sheriff’s office reports, Barr turned himself in to authorities at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jain in Abingdon, shortly after noon. 

Barr was charged with two felony grand larceny warrants  – theft of a vehicle and theft of a firearm. According to the sheriff’s office, Barr was released from jail on a $5,000 unsecured bond. 


Emory & Henry College has issued an “all clear” for the campus after telling students, faculty and staff to “shelter in place” as police searched for a vehicle theft suspect earlier this morning.

According to Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman, Matthew Allen Barr stole a truck from the Shell gas station at exit 29 in Abingdon, VA.

He left the scene and wrecked the truck on the campus of Emory & Henry College.

The victim of the truck theft had a .40 cal. semiautomatic handgun in his truck which was apparently taken by the suspect as he fled the wrecked vehicle.

Washington County Sheriffs Deputies along with Virginia State Police and Emory & Henry Campus Police are searching for the suspect.

Two felony warrants have been obtained for Barr, one theft of a motor vehicle and one theft of a firearm.

Emory & Henry College announced a “shelter in place” according to the website Tuesday morning.

A potentially armed, male person might be on campus from an incident in Glade. Please shelter in place until we send an all clear. Emergency teams are on campus. Suspect has brown hair, beard, dark pants, blue shirt. Call 911 should you suspect anything.

Sheriff Fred Newman says the suspect is still on the run but is no longer believed to be in the area.

Check for updates both on air and on our website.

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