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Law enforcement officials say Va. man shot by police in Martinsburg after he stabbed officer

March 14, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Police closed at least one block of Queen Street in Martinsburg, W.Va., Wednesday night after a reported shooting.
By Matthew Umstead, Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Police shot a Virginia man multiple times during an altercation with police in downtown Martinsburg Wednesday night along Queen Street, the city’s police department announced Thursday afternoon.

Wayne Arnold Jones, 50, of Stephens City, Va., was pronounced dead at the scene in the 100 block of Queen Street, police said in a news release.

Police said they used projectile stun guns twice on the man and he was later shot after stabbing an officer in the torso with a knife.

The officer’s stab wound was later determined to be minor, and he did not need medical attention, police said.

The police department said officers encountered the man about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday when he was walking in the roadway.

While speaking to the man, officers asked if he had any weapons and Jones told them he had “something,” but would not say what he had, police said in the news release. 

The man then refused to place his hands on a police cruiser so the weapon could be removed and refused to follow any of the commands given by the officers and began to back away, police said.

The man became increasingly angry and did not comply with subsequent orders by the officers, who then shot him with a stun gun, police said.

The stun gun had little effect and a second stun was fired with “minimal” effect, police said.

At that point, the man fled into a doorway entrance in the 100 block of South Queen Street, according to the release.

Once at the doorway entrance, officers continued to give verbal commands to the subject, but he failed to comply, police said.

Officers then attempted to physically restrain the man and forced him to the ground, police said.

“While on the ground, the (man) actively fought with the officers and would not comply with verbal commands,” police said.

In the course of attempting to restrain the man, he retrieved a knife and stabbed an officer in the torso.
 
Officers at that point backed off and ordered the man to drop the knife, which police said he did not do, according to the news release.

While the man was attempting to get on his feet, officers fired multiple rounds with their duty weapons at the man “to neutralize the threat,” police said.

Medics were immediately contacted and officers attempted life saving techniques but were unsuccessful, police said.
 
Police determined that the knife had penetrated his uniform and vest of the officer who was stabbed. 

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said authorities know the man had been living in the Martinsburg area “for a period of time,” but did not have a fixed address for him or know where he’s been staying.

The Stephens City, Va., address that was released by police Thursday for Jones was obtained from an identification card, according to Games-Neely.

“They don’t know why he was here,” Games-Neely said.

An autopsy of Jones is scheduled for Friday in Morgantown, W.Va., Games-Neely said.

Police Chief Kevin Miller could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Five officers who were involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave and the West Virginia State Police is conducting an investigation for the incident, according to the release.

Police closed at least one block of Queen Street in Martinsburg after the shooting. The street at town square was taped off and an officer later extended the cordoned area farther, wrapping tape around a small post of the historic courthouse and the traffic signal pole.

Flashing lights of several police cars filled the block of Queen Street north toward Burke Street.

Officers appeared to be focused on the west side of Queen Street in the vicinity of Peking Restaurant and Southwood Books.

A white sheet stretched along the sidewalk in that area obstructed the view.

The shooting was the fourth police shooting in Martinsburg in less than two years.

• Dec. 28, 2012 —  Martinsburg police shot and killed Tiffany Lee Overholser, 45, of 108 S. Georgia Ave., after police said she took several steps toward two officers and pointed a gun at one of them. A Berkeley County grand jury last month decided against further investigation of two officers involved in the fatal shooting.

• March 11, 2012 — A Martinsburg Police Department officer shot Douglas Charles Butler in the chest after Butler allegedly attempted to stab the officer with a railroad spike. Butler was indicted in May 2012 on one count of attempted malicious assault and his trial is set to begin March 26 in Berkeley County Circuit Court, Games-Neely said this week.

• Sept. 26, 2011 — Two Martinsburg police officers shot Michael Kelly Silver, 42, multiple times in the ATM lane of a bank drive-through after he carjacked a woman and her 4-year-old daughter at Martinsburg Mall. The fatal shooting was deemed justifiable by a Berkeley County grand jury that reviewed evidence compiled in the case.

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