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Hundreds show up for fallen officer’s processional from Roanoke to Big Stone Gap

Michael Chandler was shot and killed in the line of duty over the weekend

Hundreds of first responders lined the streets of Southwest Virginia Monday to help bring Officer Michael Chandler home.

ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of first responders lined the streets of Southwest Virginia Monday to help bring Big Stone Gap Officer Michael Chandler home.

“Just a very tragic event, wanted to come out and show the family support and the department also,” Bassett resident Blake Parnell said.

Chandler was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a call over the weekend. It was his 29th birthday.

“I couldn’t emphasize enough that it impacts everyone down there. It’s first name basis for everyone,” Roanoke City Police Officer Jason Vance said.

Chandler’s body was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, so the nearly 4-hour-long processional started there.

[Gov. Northam releases statement on death of Big Stone Gap officer, orders flags to be lowered]

Vance was one of many who helped out. The Wise County native knew he had to help a fallen brother get back home.

“It’s just profoundly impacting that area down there and you know, even being up here but still having loose ties to that area I still feel it up here,” Vance said.

Others like Blake Parnell of Bassett wanted to pay their respects to Chandler’s family. He was one of many who watched dozens of police officers escort Chandler’s body home.

“It’s touching. It’ll send cold chills down your body. It shows that brotherhood is strong — on fire and police side,” Parnell said.

While his memory will live on through his family, Chandler’s colleagues across southwest Virginia will help his legacy continue on after sacrificing his life.

“It just shows the outpouring of support and compassion to other members of law enforcement that you know, have suffered a loss,” Vance said.

Chandler’s funeral is set for this Wednesday in Wise County.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.