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Teen driver shoots himself after Culpeper crash

CULPEPER, Va. — A 16-year-old driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after he shot himself following a car crash in Culpeper, according to Virginia State Police. The incident began Sunday, at about 1:31 a.m., when a Culpeper Police Officer saw the teen’s Toyota Camry speed through a Route 29 Business work zone.

“The officer activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The [driver of the ]Camry refused to stop for the officer and sped away. A pursuit was initiated,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson said. “Moments later and within 3/4 of a mile, the driver of the Camry lost control and struck a van parked in front of a residence on Belle Avenue. The impact of that crash caused the Camry to spin out of control and finally come to a stop at the intersection of Belle Avenue and Belle Grove Court.”

Culpeper Police heard a gunshot come from inside the car, according to Virginia State Police.

“Further investigation determined that the 16-year-old Culpeper County male driver shot himself,” the spokesperson said. “One of the Camry’s passengers, a 16-year-old Culpeper County male, fled the scene on foot as soon as the vehicle crashed. A canine team was able to assist with locating and apprehending him a short time later. A 19-year-old (no fixed address) male passenger and another 16-year-old Culpeper County male passenger were taken into custody without incident. The 16-year-old was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the traffic crash.”

In addition to the driver’s gun, a second gun was found outside the crashed car.

“The Culpeper Police Officer never discharged his weapon or was injured in the incident,” the Virginia State Police spokesperson said. “The investigation remains ongoing at this time. Charges are pending.”

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, or video here.