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Man dead after police standoff; another woman found dead in home

Officer-involved shooting now under investigation

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DANVILLE – An investigation is underway after a standoff with police ended in a deadly officer-involved shooting. The incident began just after midnight Sunday when Danville police officers were called to a home in the 1000 block of Halifax Road in Danville for reports of shots being fired, police said.

When officers arrived at the home on 1069 Halifax Road, they were shot at shortly after knocking on the door, police said. The shots fired came from inside the home, forcing police to take cover and establish a perimeter around the home.

While officers attempted to negotiate a peaceful surrender, a man came out of the house shooting at the officers, police said. One of the officers returned fire.

The man was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. Virginia State Police identify him as 54-year-old Richard R. Towler of Danville. Police said he lived at the house where the shooting happened.

When police entered the home, they found a deceased female inside, police said. State police identify her as 38-year-old Crystal Lynn Averett of Danville.

Both Towler and Averett's bodies have been transported to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for autopsy.

No officers were injured during the shooting.

Lt. Col. Dean Hairston has requested the Virginia State Police to investigate both the officer-involved shooting and the homicide of the female that happened inside the residence.

In accordance with Danville Police Department  policy, the officer has been placed on administrative assignment. The officer’s name will be released in three days in accordance with Department policy.


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