News Detail

Man shot during police standoff in Charles Town

  September 30, 2012.

CHARLES TOWN - A man allegedly armed with a gun who threatened police was shot during a standoff Sunday in Charles Town after he barricaded himself inside a residence and refused to come out.

Authorities said the male suspect was taken to the hospital following the police-involved shooting, but were unable to confirm his condition as of 6 p.m. Sunday. The standoff began at about 2:27 p.m. at a residence in the 800 block of East Washington Street near Jefferson Avenue.

"We were called here. An individual came and kicked some people out of their house by force, and they called us to come to handle the matter. We had what we term as a standoff with the individual, which resulted in the shooting. That's about all I can tell you at this point," Capt. Rob Blair of the West Virginia State Police said in a brief statement after the standoff came to a conclusion.

Members of the State Police walk near a residence where a man was shot during a standoff.

Blair, commander of Troop 2 of the West Virginia State Police, was called to the scene following the conclusion of the standoff to begin the investigation into the incident and said he couldn't confirm the suspect's identity.

Jefferson County Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Shirley, who, along with several other officers and police agencies, provided assistance at the scene during the standoff, told reporters it appeared the suspect was shot multiple times. Late Sunday afternoon, as officers had the residence surrounded, two loud bangs were heard followed by the sound of multiple shots being fired. Witnesses said the two loud bangs were the result of tear gas being fired into the residence.

"I assume you all heard there were multiple shots fired. The suspect appeared to be hit numerous times. I don't know his condition at this time, and we are waiting on the crime scene (team) to get here," Shirley said.

Blair described the investigation Sunday as "very preliminary." He said he didn't know the condition of the man who was shot or the time the standoff began.

"I don't know how many shots were fired. I've got some troopers and a deputy over here that were involved in the incident. We're going to assign investigators to this and determine what happened, and, of course, as we get the facts, we'll start releasing them. I just don't want to release something that wouldn't be accurate at this point," Blair said at the scene.

Blair said he was awaiting the arrival of the crime scene team to begin processing the scene and to begin the investigation into the incident.

"I've got a crime scene team coming. We're going to process the crime scene here. Of course, we're going to check on the status of the individual who was shot, and we're going to do an investigation on the matter," Blair said.

Earlier in the afternoon, as the standoff was still ongoing, Shirley told reporters that the suspect was believed to be armed with a gun, had threatened officers and had fired at least one shot.

"We're trying to talk him out. One shot has been fired already. We're just trying to keep everybody a safe distance away. He's already threatened law enforcement," Shirley had said.

He said authorities had been in contact with the individual involved in the standoff and had been prepared to remain at the residence as long as needed to ensure a peaceful resolution.

"Right now he's contained to one certain area. He does have a pistol. One shot has been fired. I know he has threatened officers since we've been here. That's why we're not going to rush. We are in contact with him," Shirley had said.

Shirley said authorities had also been in contact with local mental hygiene officials, as well as a doctor out of Virginia Beach. He later said after the shooting that he didn't know the exact details of what occurred just prior to the suspect being shot and said the State Police would be in charge of the investigation.

"Right now a lot of these officers are the ones involved in the shooting. They can't speak. I don't have knowledge of what occurred, and I wouldn't speak if I did. They will certainly give you information as it develops," Shirley said.

Blair said additional information will become available as the investigation continues.

- Staff writer Edward Marshall can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 182, or