UPDATE: February 11, 2020, 4:40 p.m.: Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin has released a statement on this morning’s officer-involved shooting.
“Officer down” is never a call you want to hear—ever. Fortunately, because of the quick actions of many, a Charleston Police officer is alive tonight.
Investigators believe one person committed multiple crimes this morning—including a homicide on Georgia Street. During this time, Patrolman Casto encountered and was approached by a suspect who attacked him with a weapon. Casto was forced to draw his duty weapon and fire upon the suspect, striking him two times. Both the officer and the suspect were transported to the hospital.
I, and Chief of Police Tyke Hunt, visited Patrolman Casto at the hospital earlier today. Thankfully, he is ok and is now home recovering with his family.
We witnessed a tremendous amount of support and camaraderie from our first responders today. Members of the Charleston Fire Department were also on scene—alongside Patrolman Casto. Charleston officers on- and off-duty, officers from St. Albans, members of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police all heard the call—and responded.
Tonight, I am so incredibly thankful for the quick actions of Patrolman Casto, the medical teams who took such great care of our officer, and for our entire first responder community.Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin
UPDATE: February 11, 2020, 2:30 p.m.: Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt says multiple incidents this morning led up to an officer firing shots at a suspect on Charleston’s West Side.
Police say Charleston Police Officer Austin Casto was struck in the head multiple times with a weapon, reported to be a flat iron. Officer Casto tried to create distance between himself and the suspect but was forced to draw his gun in the altercation. The officer fired two shots at the suspect. Both were taken to the hospital for their injuries. The officer is fine and at home recovering. The suspect has made it through surgery and is at the hospital being guarded by police.
Hunt says police believe the incident is related to a homicide this morning on the 600 block of Georgia Street, a carjacking in Edgewood, and a car crash and attempted carjacking near Lee Street and Tennesse Street, all on Charleston’s West Side. The Charleston Police Department is investigating these cases. Hunt said there is no threat to the public.
CPD is working with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation in the officer-involved shooting. Hunt also says the suspect could be charged with first-degree murder.
Hunt says he thanks all of the departments who responded to the scenes including, West Virginia State Police, St. Albans Police Department, Charleston Fire Department and everyone who helped respond.
Sheriff Mike Rutherford says the Kanawha County Sheriff’s department is investigating the case.
“We are extremely happy the officer was not injured more than what he was,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford says as the officer was being attacked, a witness moved in to assist the officer before the shots were fired.
“He was also a hero in this,” said Rutherford. “You don’t have very many citizens that would actually go out and try to help an officer when he’s being attacked. We deeply appreciate that.”
UPDATE: February 11, 2020, 11:45 a.m.: Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford says the sheriff’s office will be investigating the officer-involved shooting on Charleston’s West Side.
The sheriff’s office says there were two other incidents that happened this morning that police say may be connected to this incident including a murder and a carjacking on the West Side. One incident confirmed to be involved in the shooting is a car crash that the suspect walked away from. The shooting took place directly after the crash.
Rutherford tells WOWK the suspect beat an officer with a flat iron. The officer attempted to stop him with a baton and then fired two shots at the suspect. Both were transported to the hospital. There is no word on the condition of the suspect. The officer has non-life-threatening injuries.
UPDATE: February 11, 2020, 11:30 a.m.: Both the suspect and the officer have been taken to the hospital. Police say the officer has non-life-threatening injuries but was beaten with a flat iron. There is no word on the suspect’s condition.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting on Charleston’s West Side.
Metro dispatch officials say multiple blocks on the West Side of Charleston in the area of Indiana Avenue, Pennsylvania Ave, Washington St W, Bigley Ave, and others will be shut down due to a Law Enforcement investigation until further notice. Police are asking that traffic avoid the area.
Police say there is no danger to the general public.