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Lynchburg police shoot, kill dog as wellness check turns into standoff situation

Virginia State Police are now investigating the shooting

The police said that when they approached, the man did not respond to their commands.
The police said that when they approached, the man did not respond to their commands.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – What started as a wellness check on Thursday night ended with a dog being killed after Lynchburg police tried to take a man into custody.

At 9:11 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Holcomb Path Road for a wellness check and said that a man shut himself in a residence with multiple weapons.

About an hour later, an emergency custody order was issued for the man as he continued to refuse to leave the residence.

Officers spent several hours speaking with him to de-escalate the situation. Despite that, he still would not allow officers to take him into custody, according to the Lynchburg Police Department.

After determining that he did not appear to be armed, officers attempted to take him into custody while he was on a bed; however, officers said that as they approached him, he would not listen to their commands and abruptly moved his hand to a concealed location.

Reacting to that movement, one officer shot at him, according to police.

The bullet hit a dog sitting on top of the man, killing the dog, according to the Lynchburg Police Department.

Still refusing to cooperate with commands from police, officers said they used a Taser to take him into custody.

As a result of the incident, police said the man had cuts on his hands and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Due to the fact that this was an officer-involved shooting, Virginia State Police is investigating any potential criminal charges.

During the ongoing investigation into the shooting, the Lynchburg Police Department will not release any body-cam footage from its officers.

As is departmental procedure, Lynchburg police will release the involved officer’s name within seven days, pending the results of a threat assessment.

The Lynchburg Police Depatment also is conducting an internal investigation and the involved officer has been placed on restricted duty.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.