YELLOW SPRING, W.Va. — State police troopers are investigating after the fatal shooting of a man in law enforcement custody in Hampshire County Tuesday night.

John O’Handley, 55, of Yellow Spring, was arrested Tuesday after police from Hampshire County and Frederick County, Va., found stolen property, explosives and a meth lab on his property near Yellow Springs, Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Nathan Sions said.

According to Sions, throughout the investigation and during arraignment O’Handley was cooperative with law enforcement officials. After his arraignment he was placed in a vehicle to be taken with another man to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. The other man was not related to the case involving O’Handley. He was placed in the front seat of the cruiser, O’Handley in the backseat, Sions said.

O’Handley complained about his shoulders hurting after being handcuffed during the ride from Yellow Springs and asked the deputy to place the handcuffs in front. The deputy then moved the handcuffs from behind O’Handley’s back to the front.
During the trip along U.S. Route 50, just west of Augusta, O’Handley attempted to take the deputy’s gun, Sions said. A struggle began while the deputy was driving. Sions said the deputy was attempting to avoid a crash, protect the other suspect and gain control of his gun.

During the struggle O’Handley was shot in the head and died as a result of the gun shot, Sions said.

The deputy has been put on leave in accordance with department policy. Sions said the department’s condolences go out to O’Handley’s family.

According to Sions, there are no previous complaints against the deputy involved in the shooting and he has been in law enforcement for more than five years. The sheriff’s department will continue its investigation into the stolen property and meth lab operations.


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