Chase with State Police ends with shooting of Ritchie County man

PETROLEUM, W.Va. — A Ritchie County man who allegedly tried to run down a State Police trooper with his vehicle was shot to death by that trooper on Saturday night, according to information from State Police.

It began when a trooper attempted to stop a suspected drunk driver in a vehicle without a license plate on Goose Creek Road in Ritchie County.

When the driver refused to stop, State Police said a chase started that lead to a remote area known as Oil Springs Road.

At that point, the trooper exited his cruiser because, a State Police release said, he believed the chase “was ending due to conditions of the terrain.” As the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver began driving “directly toward the trooper.”

It was then that the unidentified trooper shot at the vehicle, striking and killing the driver, Clarence Layfield, Jr., 55, of Ritchie County.

A passenger in the vehicle was not hurt and neither was the trooper.

State Police confirmed drugs were found in the vehicle and there were indications Layfield and his passenger had been drinking “excessive amounts of alcohol” throughout the day Saturday.

It was the second deadly shooting involving West Virginia State Police in as many days.

On Friday night, William Keith Waldron, 26, was shot to death by troopers in Elkins after reportedly pointing a shotgun at troopers who were helping Elkins Police execute a search warrant at a home on Ward Avenue.

No law enforcement officers were hurt there.

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