PENDLETON COUNTY, W.Va. — A Virginia man who fled police with promises to “go out with a fight” in a “hail of gunfire” was shot to death Tuesday in Pendleton County after allegedly ramming law enforcement vehicles and attempting to run down officers, according to information from the Pendleton County Sheriff’s Department.
The chase ended Tuesday afternoon on a narrow, one lane mountain road near the Virginia state line.
As of Thursday, Pendleton County Sheriff Donald Hedrick, the investigating officer, was not releasing the names of the suspect who was killed or the officers directly involved in the shooting.
Earlier, Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson in Rockingham County, Virginia had identified the suspect as Casey Desper, 32, of McGaheysville, Virginia, who was reportedly wanted for a probation violation.
Virginia authorities reported Desper was behind the wheel of a maroon Jeep Cherokee, reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and tossing items out of his vehicle at those in a pursuit that started in Harrisonburg, Va. and then crossed into Pendleton County.
The suspect was described as armed and had reportedly made threats toward law enforcement officers.
Officers unsuccessfully attempted to stop the speeding vehicle, which was on the wrong side of the road at times, on Route 33 near Brandywine.
A citizen then called 911, officials said, to report that vehicle had entered a garage-type outbuilding and the driver had closed all the doors.
Multiple officers surrounded the building.
“After a period of time, the suspect started the engine and rammed the vehicle through the door of the garage, almost striking officers and a cruiser,” a press release indicated.
The pursuit then moved to Secondary 21 and Secondary 25, Reddish Knob Road, where “the suspect vehicle stopped. As officers exited their vehicles, the suspect began to ram the front of a cruiser and shots were fired,” officials reported.
The suspect was killed.
In addition to the Pendleton County Sheriff’s Department, other agencies involved in the pursuit included the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department, State Police and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.