MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A standoff with police ended in suicide for a Berkeley County man Tuesday.
Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller told MetroNews affiliate WEPM News the incident began shortly after 12:15 a.m. when deputies were dispatched to the Poor House Road home of John Gracy, 50, to investigate a reported domestic situation involving his girlfriend.
Gracy left the residence in a van and passed by deputies en route to the residence on Poor House Road.
Deputies pursued Gracy to the 1400 block of the Pitzers Chapel Road where they told him to get out of the vehicle, but Keller said that is not what the man chose to do.
“He reached across on the passenger side of the seat, pulled a gun, put it up to his head and pulled the trigger,” Keller said.
Keller said one deputy fired his weapon after seeing a “projectile” come from the vehicle because he thought the suspect was shooting at him.
Keller said the deputy did not hit Gracy.
“We investigated it [the shooting],” Keller said. ‘It was justifiable. It upset him, but he didn’t hit anybody.”
Gracy was later pronounced dead at Berkeley Medical Center after being transported there, police said.
Deputies were initially told by the Gracy’s girlfriend that she fled the house after he fired a weapon inside, police said.
The girlfriend, who met with deputies and provided a statement, had told officers that her boyfriend was barricaded inside the residence that he had several firearms in the home, records said.
The shooting remains under investigation, Keller said.