CHARLESTON, W.Va — A frantic call from the wife of attorney Mark Bramble touched off an intense situation for police Monday in the affluent South Hills neighborhood.
She told 911 operators her husband was heavily armed, distraught and shooting around the house.
“While she’s talking, there are gunshots going off,” said Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster.
When officers arrived, they saw the 49-year-old Bramble firing from a window.
“First officers on the scene heard gunfire and tried to approach the house,” said Webster. “They saw him shooting out into the street. We formed a perimeter and called in the SWAT team and additional units to the scene.”
Webster said there were a few initial shots reported, then a barrage of gunfire when police arrived, and later came sporadic shots as a police negotiator attempted to make contact with Bramble. Only once did police return fire.
“He raised a long rifle and broke out the window and came outside with his weapon,” Webster said. “One officer returned fire with an AR15, but it wasn’t clear if he hit him.”
When the gunfire subsided, police sent a camera-equipped robot into the house. The robot spotted Bramble lying in the floor, moving but with a wound to the head. Moments later police rushed the house aiming to end the standoff and to get medical attention for Bramble.
“He did resist us. He did not want handcuffed. He did not want us in there,” Webster said. “But we did get him handcuffed and we did get him medical attention and he’s now in surgery.”
Webster could not confirm how many rounds were fired by Bramble. Police were interviewing a number of people connected to the incident, among them a Charleston Fire Department paramedic who told investigators Bramble indicated on his way to the hospital he had shot himself.
The investigation continues into the incident, which Webster said did not result in any injuries except for Bramble.