CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. -- Sheriff's deputies in Culpeper County, Virginia shot and killed a driver who "presented a deadly threat," Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. Investigators say the incident started Monday shortly before 10 p.m. when the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call for a domestic assault at a local residence.
The sheriff’s office was told that the suspect, identified as Eric Wesley Clark, 43, of Culpeper, fled the home in a vehicle. That vehicle description was broadcast to area law enforcement.
“At approximately 11 p.m., a Culpeper County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the suspect vehicle near the Town of Culpeper. The Sheriff’s Deputy activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Clark refused to stop for the Deputy and a pursuit was initiated,” said a Virginia State Police spokesperson. “Two additional Culpeper County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to assist with the pursuit that ended several minutes later once the suspect vehicle was stopped near the intersection of Route 522 and Griffinsburg Road.”
During the encounter between Clark and the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Deputies, Clark was shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A sheriff's office spokesperson said Clark "presented a deadly threat to the deputies" and they responded by shooting the driver. Investigators said Clark's shotgun was recovered at the scene.
The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation at this time.
Virginia State Police have been asked to investigate the fatal officer-involved shooting.
"I'm so grateful that our deputies are safe. I'm deeply saddened by what they were forced to do and pray for comfort for everyone affected by this incident," Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins said.
The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on modified duty during the State Police investigation. The deputies' names have also not been released at this time.
This is a developing story. Witnesses can email news tips and photos here.