BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Several law enforcement authorities shot a man on a federal highway in West Virginia, news outlets reported Wednesday, and video of the shooting was circulating on social media.
According to a press release from West Virginia State Police Captain R. A. Maddy, at approximately 9:47 a.m., initial 911 calls reported an armed suspect fleeing from a crash scene off of Dry Hill Road in Raleigh County.
The suspect then stole a blue pickup truck and fled in an unknown direction. A short time later, the suspect was located at Big Lots near the Raleigh Mall in the stolen vehicle. The man refused to stop for officers and a pursuit ensued leading into Fayette County and back into the Bradley area of Raleigh County, the news release said.
In the video, the man walks onto the four-lane freeway near the city of Beckley while holding what appears to be a handgun. At least a half-dozen law enforcement officers are in pursuit with their guns drawn. The man alternately points the object in his hand at his head and raises it in the air several times while facing the officers and then turning his back and walking away.
An officer shoots the man, who falls to the ground. Then authorities fire several more times, even as he lies unresponsive.
The Register-Herald reported that the shooting happened Wednesday morning after the man drove a blue pickup truck into a ditch on the side of the highway, then took off on foot.
News outlets report that a passerby recorded the video while sitting in a car across from a mall near U.S. 19 near Beckley, in the southern part of the state.
Shortly after the shooting, a body lying on the road and covered by a white sheet was removed from the scene and taken away by ambulance, according to the news reports.