Wayne County police standoff turns deadly

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

WAYNE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Earlier today in Wayne County, a domestic disturbance call ended in a deadly shootout.

Police were called to White’s Creek Road Friday morning for a domestic dispute, however, the situation quickly changed.

“Once on scene, they learned the suspect had fled the immediate area, and a search had begun for him.” 

1st Sgt. G.N. Losh, West Virginia State Police

Police learned a weapon was involved in the domestic disturbance and were on high alert—additional troopers and deputies from multiple agencies arrived.

Multiple agencies were on scene and are working together on this investigation. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

After sweeping the area, officers came across the suspect—identified as 34-year-old Randy Ward—holed up in a camper nearby.

Pictured: The camper the suspect fled to. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

State police 1st Sergeant Losh says officers tried to reason with him.

“They made contact with the suspect in the camper, and a threat was made towards the officers, and law enforcement ended up firing at the suspect and he’s deceased.” 

1st Sgt. G.N. Losh, West Virginia State Police

Losh says the suspect had fired his AR-15 at officers.

Austin Blake, who lives nearby, says he was home when he began to hear gunshots. He guesses he heard around 30 shots.

“There was a lot, and it was fast.  It was over in a period of probably like two seconds.” 

Austin Blake, lives two houses down from where the incident took place

“When you have a suspect that’s firing a rifle at officers and they’re responding, you’ll have several shots, and our thing is just until the threat is over.

1st Sgt. G.N. Losh, West Virginia State Police

A deadly ending to a tense situation, in an area neighbors say is usually quiet.

“It surprises me that it happened here, but not from that person.” 

Austin Blake, lives two houses down from where the incident took place

Losh says they hoped the incident would have ended differently.

“We’re shooting to stop the threat, and that’s our main goal–is just to stop the threat of him harming us or his family, which he already threatened.  That’s why we were here to begin with.” 

1st Sgt. G.N. Losh, West Virginia State Police
The entire incident lasted a few hours. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

The entire incident lasted a few hours. Now, state police and other agencies are working together to process this crime scene.

1st Sergeant Losh says all the police who fired their weapons are on administrative leave while the investigation continues.

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