Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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May 19, 2014

Man killed in officer-involved shooting identified by police

PEARISBURG, Va. — A man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Giles County has been identified by police.

At approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, a Pearisburg police officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the town of Pearisburg. During the course of the traffic stop, the suspect driver exited his vehicle and pointed a firearm at the officer. The driver, Thomas N. Saunders, 47, of Ripplemead, Va., was subsequently shot, according to Corine Geller, public relations director for the Virginia State Police.

Geller said rescue crews were immediately called to the scene. Saunders was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died a short time later. Gellar said the man’s body has been sent to the office of the medical examiner in Roanoke, Va., for an examination and autopsy.

At the request of the Pearisburg police chief, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Police Shooting Investigative Team out of the Wytheville field office responded to the scene to investigate the incident.

Gellar said the incident remains under investigation at this time.

Once the state police has completed its investigation, Geller said a report will be turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review and final adjudication.


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