Sheriff: Man shot and killed by deputies was under investigation for Ona VFD shooting

ONA, W.Va. — The father of a man shot and killed by Cabell County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday is now in jail charged with accessory to attempted first degree murder.

Michael Lane Pinkerman

Michael Lane Pinkerman, 56, allegedly shielded his son, Michael Pinkerman II as he shot at deputies. Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle said police were attempting to enter the Ona area home to execute a search warrant.

“We tried to get in the residence, we identified ourselves, the father obstructed us holding the door and stalling,” Zerkle said Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “As we finally gained entry to the home Michael Jr. came out of the room and started dumping rounds on us.”

Zerkle said the younger Pinkerman was using his father as a shield. He emptied his 9 millimeter handgun of at least 13 rounds striking deputies Jared Cremeans and Jimmy Johnston. They returned fire and killed the younger Pinkerman. He father suffered a few minor bullet wounds.

The younger Pinkerman was under investigation in connection with a shooting earlier this week at the Ona Volunteer Fire Department. Three trucks parked inside the firehouse were damaged when someone shot a 9 mm through the bay doors. Deputies tried to speak with Pinkerman about the investigation earlier in the day Wednesday but were told to leave the property, Zerkle said. He was holding a gun at the time. They later returned with the search warrant looking for a stolen gun.

“Michael Jr. was in possession of a stolen firearm so we obtained a search warrant to go back to retrieve the weapon. The weapon he had on him earlier was a 9 mm and that’s what was used in the Ona incident,” Zerkle said.

Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle

Deputy Cremeans was in intensive care at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington Thursday. He was scheduled to undergo hand surgery Thursday afternoon, Zerkle said.

“He was kind of in the lead. He was grazed in the head, shot in the shoulder twice, in the center torso and once in the hand,” Zerkle said. He hopes to be released from the hospital Friday.

The back of Johnston’s vest absorbed two shots, Zerkle said. He’s recovering at home.

Zerkle said what happened inside the Pinkerman house on Blue Sulphur Road near Ona Wednesday evening is unfortunately not a surprise.

“It’s a rough world we live in and the violence is escalating on police officers every day and this was a classical example of it that this guy did not want to comply and he was willing to risk his lives and others lives,” Zerkle said.

Michael Lane Pinkerman is being held in the Western Regional Jail on $300,000 bail. State police are investigating the officer-involved shooting.

The Cabell County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Incident Unit was on the scene Wednesday night.

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