One man arrested, Roanoke police officer placed on administrative leave following incident Sunday morning

Brian Tyrone Taylor
Brian Tyrone Taylor (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - One man is in jail and a police officer on administrative leave following an incident that happened Sunday morning near the 1500 block of Dunbar NW in Roanoke.

The officer was identified as Daniel Spradling, who has been employed with the Roanoke Police Department since Mary 26, 2007.

According to police, at approximately 4:10 a.m. Sunday, August 16, Officer Spradling tried to initiate a traffic stop on Whitten Avenue NW on a white minivan for speeding.

After Officer Spradling tried to pull over the minivan, the vehicle turned right onto Dunbar Street NW - increasing speed toward the dead end of Dunbar Street.

At the dead-end of Dunbar Street, police say the minivan stopped and one person got out and started running, holding a handgun in his left hand. While pursuing the armed individual, officers said they gave two loud verbal commands to drop the gun. The armed person ignored the officer's commands and continued running, police say.

Roanoke police said the armed individual ran into the backyard of a residence in the 1500 block of Dunbar Street NW, he slowed, and while still holding the handgun, turned toward the officer. Police said Officer Spradling fired one round at the armed individual, who was not hit.

Officer Spradling again yelled a verbal command to drop the handgun and the individual dropped it and continued running until Spradling was able to apprehend him.

Officer Spradling radioed assisting officers that the individual had dropped the handgun in the backyard of the home on Dunbar and where it was located. The handgun was located in the area that the officer advised.

Police identified the individual as Brian Tyrone Taylor, 35, of Roanoke. Taylor is charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer.

Officers also recovered a substance that field tested positive for cocaine from the path in which Taylor ran from the minivan. Police say Taylor has a prior history involving firearms charges and drug related offenses.

The driver of the minivan, identified as Detwawn Antonio Saunders, 28, of Roanoke, Va., was arrested on an outstanding warrant for probation violation and was also charged with eluding police. Saunders also has a prior history, including a firearm charge and previous felony drug convictions.

An additional passenger in the minivan declined to speak with detectives and was released. In accordance with department policy, Officer Spradling, who fired the shot from his service weapon, was placed on administrative leave pending the criminal and internal investigations into this matter.