UPDATE: Suspect in police chase dies, one person in custody

Virginia News
5-9-19 West Railroad Ave in Wythe County - Pursuit & Shooting Incident_1557416314590.jpg

UPDATE: 5/10 4 p.m.

The suspect in a police chase and officer involved shooting died Friday, May 10.

William R. Clark, 31, of Pulaski, Va, died at Roanoke Memorial Hospital after allegedly firing shots at law enforcement and leading them on a chase.

During the chase, police stopped a suspicious vehicle in Wytheville. The driver, Charity F. Barton, reportedly had ties to Clark and was looking for him. Troopers arrested Barton after finding drugs and a semi-automatic rifle in her car. She is charged with possession, possession with the intent to deliver, possession of a concealed weapon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I/II drug, and possession of a stolen license plate. Barton is being held at the New river Valley Regional Jail. 

The Wythe County Deputy and Virginia State Trooper who were hit by Clark were treated and released from the hospital. 

The incident and officer-involved shooting remain under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office. According to VSP policy, the trooper involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY: A suspect was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after he allegedly fired shots at law enforcement, lead them on a chase and crashed into two crusiers.

According to Virginia State Police, the incident started at 1:40 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2019. Troopers spotted a 2008 Dodge pickup truck that was reported stolen travelling South on I-81 in Pulaski County. Troopers tried to pull the truck over, but the driver sped off and started shooting toward troopers. 

The pursuit ended in Wytheville after troopers lost sight of the truck. They found the truck abandoned at 2:09 a.m. on Barrett Mill Road. Virginia State Police continued the search with K9 teams and aviation units to look for the driver.

At 3:45 a.m., while law enforcement was searching for the driver, Wytheville Police spotted and suspicious vehicle on West Railroad Avenue. Police stopped the driver, who was a woman they believed to have ties with their suspect and was looking for him. While law enforcement officers were talking to her, another chase began with the original suspect. This time, he was in a stolen Ford F-350.

The wanted man lead police into town where he drove over and embankment, heading toward the area where Wytheville Police had stopped the female driver. As police were chasing the stolen truck, the driver rammed it into a Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputy’s cruiser and then intentionally hit a Virginia State Police Trooper’s cruiser head-on on West Railroad Avenue.

A Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Virginia State Police Trooper opened fire on the suspect, hitting him and ending the chase.

The suspect was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.  A gun 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 who were struck were transported to Wythe Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the crash.

The incident 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 conclusion of the investigation. Charges are pending.

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