By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A man who used a chain saw to damage a house during a domestic dispute later confronted deputies with a large club, and ignored their orders to put the weapon down, police said Monday.
Authorities responded to a report of a domestic dispute involving a man with a chain saw at 10 p.m. Saturday night. When a deputy with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the residence, Jason Dillon, 31, of Surface Hill Road, confronted the officer with a “large club-type instrument,” refused commands from the deputy to put the weapon down, approached the deputy with the weapon and was then shot and fatally wounded by the officer, according to Sgt. D.W. Miller, detachment commander of the West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment.
Miller said the victim of the domestic dispute reported that Dillon was attempting to destroy the house with a chain saw. Dillon resided at the same residence.
The name of the deputy involved in the shooting was not released by Miller Monday.
Miller said police believe only the victim of the domestic dispute, and the deceased, were at the house at the time of the incident. However, family members lived near the residence. Miller said approximately 15 officers between the sheriff’s department and the state police ultimately converged at the scene of the shooting.
The preliminary investigation has revealed chain saw damage to the walls of the residence, and the main support beam in the basement of the house also was cut with the chain saw, according to Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash. Ash said a woodstove with a fire in it also was knocked over by Dillon during the domestic dispute.
Miller said it would be up to Sheriff Don Meadows to release the deputy’s name. Ash also deferred comment on the deputy’s name to Meadows. Messages left Monday by the Daily Telegraph with Meadows were not immediately returned.
The state police are investigating the incident on behalf of the sheriff’s department.
Miller said the investigation continues.
“It’s just in the very initial phases right now,” Miller said of the investigation. “Everything will be gathered over the next few weeks and presented to the prosecutor’s office. It will take a couple of weeks if not longer before the autopsy and toxicology and all that is done.”
Miller said the body has been sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Charleston to determine an exact cause of death.
“It’s just the initial phases (of the investigation),” Miller said. “I’m just going to be gathering information, and doing my investigation, over the next few weeks.”
Meadows told the Daily Telegraph Sunday that the deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the state police investigation. Meadows said the deputy asked to remain on duty, but he told the officer to take some time off.
“It’s kind of traumatic for the officer,” Meadows said in the earlier interview.
The state police also brought in a specialist Sunday to help begin reconstructing what took place at the scene.
“We just think it’s better if an outside agency does it,” Meadows said in the earlier report. “We are not saying there’s anything wrong. At this point, we see no problems.”
— Contact Charles Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org