Man at center of police chase up I-81 has 6 counts of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer filed against him

The suspect fired multiple shots out of a vehicle window towards officers, according to officials

A man is in custody after police say he took them on a high-speed chase on I-81 from Elliston to Salem.

SALEM, Va. – The 39-year-old Salem man authorities say led them on a chase from Christiansburg to Salem will soon face nine total charges.

On Thursday, the Christiansburg Police Department announced that Michael Lilly will face the following charges once he’s released from the hospital:

  • Six counts of attempted aggravated murder of a police officer, a Class 2 felony
  • One count of eluding police, a Class 6 felony
  • One count of brandishing a firearm, a Class 1 misdemeanor
  • One count of reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor\

Since his crash Wednesday afternoon, Lilly has been at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem with law enforcement guarding him during his treatment.

Because he’s still in the hospital, he has not yet been booked and does not yet have a mugshot.

The Christiansburg Police Department may place additional charges after the investigation is concluded.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Salem Police Department are investigating and may place additional charges in their respective jurisdictions, as well.


One person is in the hospital after what started as someone pulling out a gun at an Elliston convenience store resulted in a police chase up Interstate 81 and ended with a crash in Salem.

On Wednesday afternoon, Christiansburg police responded at about 2:30 p.m. after someone pulled out a gun at the Elliston Food Mart on 9311 Roanoke Road, according to Christiansburg Public Relations Director Christina Edney.

The suspect then drove away in a small silver SUV into the town of Christiansburg, where Edney said police said they attempted to stop the vehicle.

The suspect then brandished a firearm at the officer, drove away and officers pursued the suspect’s vehicle across the bypass to the Spradlin Farms area where the suspect turned around and drove back across the bypass to Interstate 81.

Edney said that additional officers followed in pursuit at several points during the chase and that the suspect fired multiple shots out of a vehicle window towards officers.

The chase ended in Salem after the suspect exited Interstate 81 at exit 137 and drove toward downtown Salem before turning on Mill Lane and then crashing shortly after turning onto Riverside Drive, according to Edney.

Edney said that person was taken to LewisGale Hospital and the extent of injuries is unknown at this time.

She did say that no officers were hurt at any point during the entire incident.