Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 20, 2014

State Police honor Senior Trooper J.R. Coburn

PRINCETON —  At a private ceremony earlier this week in Charleston, the West Virginia State Police recognized Senior Trooper J.R. Coburn of the Welch Detachment, with the Medal of Valor, the department’s highest honor. Coburn was honored for his actions on July 8, 2012, in Mercer County when a suspect who was in custody stole a Bluefield Police Department cruiser.

Coburn was working a contract detail in Mercer County, heard a report of the pursuit on 911 emergency dispatch and came to the aid of the two officers who were attempting to regain control of the suspect — an individual with an extensive criminal background who had reportedly vowed not to be taken into custody by law enforcement again. The suspect wrestled the service weapon from one of the patrolmen, and Coburn fatally shot the suspect before he could turn the gun on the officer.

There are now two Medal of Valor troopers in the Welch Detachment, Coburn and Sgt. C.F. Kane, detachment commander— the only trooper in the state police that has received two medals of valor.

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