Culpeper County sheriff’s deputies on Monday fatally shot a driver who refused to pull over and “displayed” a shotgun, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
Deputies shot Eric Wesley Clark, 43, of Culpeper after a vehicle pursuit that lasted “several minutes,” according to a statement from the state police, who are investigating. Clark did not fire the gun at the deputies, Geller said, but the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post that Clark “presented a deadly threat.”
“I’m so grateful that our deputies are safe,” the Facebook post quoted Sheriff Scott Jenkins as saying. “I’m deeply saddened by what they were forced to do and pray for comfort for everyone affected by this incident.”
The events began when the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call shortly before 10 p.m. Monday reporting that there had been a domestic assault at a residence and that the suspect, identified as Clark, had left, police said. A description of Clark’s vehicle was broadcast to law enforcement.
About an hour later, a deputy saw the vehicle and turned on his emergency lights to pull the driver over, police said.
Clark refused to stop, and two more deputies joined the chase. The vehicle was eventually stopped near Route 522 and Griffinsburg Road. “During the subsequent encounter” with those deputies, Clark was shot and died at the scene, state police said.
Clark’s family could not be reached Tuesday.
The deputies involved are on modified duty until the investigation has been completed, which is standard procedure in such cases. Their names were not immediately released.