Police release identity of man who died after police standoff in Pulaski

Police involved in standoff in Pulaski

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter, James A. Riley - Digital Content Producer, Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

PULASKI - Virginia State Police have released the identity of the man who died Sunday after a police standoff in Pulaski.

The Pulaski Communications Center received a 911 call about 6:50 p.m. about a domestic violence disturbance in the 100 block of 4th Street, S.E. in the town of Pulaski.

The complainant said that the suspect individual had a gun and that he was inside of his home.

Law enforcement personnel from the Pulaski Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and located the victim in the domestic dispute. 

It was determined that there was cause to pursue a criminal complaint and an arrest warrant for 48-year-old James A. Burton Sr., of Pulaski, was issued.

Officers tried to serve the warrant but the man refused to come out of his house and brandished several firearms while making verbal challenges to personnel on the scene.

Police say at one point, Burton came out onto the front porch and fired a gun. Two law enforcement personnel, positioned in that vicinity, discharged their weapons in response and the man retreated back inside the home.

"He was yelling and screaming during this time. They were hollering back and forth and then after they shot the three shots. We never heard nothing else from him. Couple hours went by, they kept throwing stuff in there, shooting, this and that. But still we never nothing from him," witness Amy Mooney-Watson said.

Officers attempted to make contact with Burton for the next few hours. During that time, they say they heard at least one shot coming from inside the home.

The standoff continued and a robot from the Virginia State Police responded and was used to view inside of the building after police personnel breached an exterior door.

A team of officers next entered the home and found Burton dead.

"It really hurts me. That's my only dad. That's the only dad I'll ever have. I really hate for my, I have a two-year-old daughter who will never get to know her grandpa or who he was," Burton's son Alvin told WSLS 10.

Burton's son now wants answers from police.

"I know they have a job to do but I don't think that they did it professionally or the right way," Alvin Burton said.

Burton's body has been transported to the medical examiner's office for autopsy and examination.

The shooting remains under investigation at this time, according to state police.

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