EXCLUSIVE: Officer speaks after car chase and shooting


“It was pretty hectic” Sgt. Charles Burkhamer said.

Sgt. Burkhamer with the Smithers Police Department said he got a call Saturday night from detectives with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department concerning a man driving on a revoked license, that man was Michael Palmer.

“Just a regular, routine traffic stop” he said.

It all started when Sgt. Burkhamer turned his lights on to pull over Michael Palmer. Once he noticed he kept going down this side road, that’s when the chase began.

“And he went from there, he just took off down the hill, hit Route 2, blew the stop sign, we probably made it a quarter of a mile up the road” he said.

Sgt. Burkhamer and Palmer lost control of their cars in front of NARCO Inc. from the bad weather.

“Actually with the adrenaline flowing and stuff, the traffic accident actually scared me more than that did” he said.

Palmer led Burkhamer into the next part of their chase into the Bullpush area, on the Fayette/Kanawha County border.

“He got stuck, he jumps out” Burkhamer said.

The pursuit then began on foot. Palmer led Burkhamer down into the woods down and that’s when Burkhamer heard shots fired.

“At that time I heard what sounded like a small caliber round, I went down on the ravine myself, saw him climbing the hill, didn’t see any weapons in his hand and at that time I pulled the taser,” he said.

As Burkhamer returned fire, he then tased Palmer, and he said it didn’t have an effect on Palmer.

“Him having the high ground on me, after hearing what was a small caliber round, I backed off and called for help,” he said

K-9 teams from Fayette and Kanawha County came to search for Palmer, but he got away Saturday night. On Monday, Burkhamer had arrest warrants out for Palmers, he says they found Palmer in a wall in his bathroom.

“It was a great feeling to know that we had taken this guy off the streets,” he said.

Palmer’s charges are pending in Kanawha County, his pending felony charges are wanton endangerment and fleeing from an officer. He’s currently in the Southern Regional Jail.

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