MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) –The Martinsville officers involved in a shooting on Jan. 1, have been assigned to administrative duty.
An officer and a suspect were wounded in the incident.
As WFXR reported earlier this month, Michael Panos was the officer wounded.
He was shot once in the arm during the incident, according to a press statement from police.
On New Year’s Day around 9:30 p.m., a Martinsville police officer attempted to pull over a driver for a traffic violation when the vehicle did not stop and the chase began.
The pursuit started at Memorial Boulevard at Askin Street and continued to Joseph Martin Highway in Henry County, where police say the driver jumped from the moving vehicle and fled on foot.
Martinsville Police spotted the driver behind an apartment building. Virginia State Police say the driver fired at the officers, hitting one. The officers returned fire, hitting the driver.
The driver was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he was later released for non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound.
The driver, Thomas Joe Braxton III, 37, of Martinsville, was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 4 and charged with one count of attempted capital murder, one count use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of felony elude.
Panos was treated and released at Wake Forest in North Carolina, authorities said. He has served in the department for two years.
Officer Jason Griffith was also involved in the incident. Griffith has served with the department for three years.
The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations’s Salem Field Office continues to investigate the shooting.
Rob Fincher, Deputy Chief of Police, told WFXR that it’s policy for officers involved in this type of incident to be assigned administrative duty as the investigation proceeds.
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