Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Estranged" father fatally shot after child taken hostage (Christiansburg, Virginia)

UNNAMED DAD apparently abducted his 2-year-old daughter in his pickup truck. Police pursued them until Dad crashed the truck into an off-duty law enforcement vehicle. Dad then held the daughter hostage in the vehicle until an officer fatally shot the dad.

'Estranged father' fatally shot in Christiansburg after child was hostage, authorities say
By Jorge Valencia and Amy Matzke-Fawcett The Roanoke Times

A standoff between police and an “estranged father” who held his 2-year-old daughter hostage in a vehicle Wednesday night in Christiansburg ended when an officer fatally shot the suspect, authorities said.

The girl was safe and unharmed after the incident, said Maj. Dalton Reid of the Christiansburg Police Department. No law enforcement officer was injured.

About 11:30 p.m., Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt said, “There is no indication of life in the suspect.”

The father and the girl were from Christiansburg, Whitt said. He declined to identify them.

Police received a call about 8:40 p.m. of an estranged father taking his daughter in his Dodge pickup truck. Police pursued the suspect through Christiansburg. The pursuit ended when the suspect crashed into an off-duty law enforcement vehicle in a wooded stretch of Ellett Road about a half-mile east of the U.S. 460 overpass. The incident concluded before 10 p.m. when a Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect , Whitt said.

Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting, which is common procedure in such incidents, said spokesman Sgt. Rob Carpentieri. Christiansburg police officers and Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies responded to the call.

After the incident, officers closed Ellett Road eastward from the U.S. 460 overpass, allowing only residents through.

Several residents of streets that intersect Ellett Road nearby said they heard sirens earlier in the night. Rosalie Paige, who lives on Blossom Road, said, “I just saw police car after police car racing down the road. Now I don’t know what happened and I can’t go to sleep.”