Big Stone Gap Police Chief: Officer shot in the line of duty has succumbed to injuries, one man is in custody according to VSP

Virginia News

UPDATE 11 a.m. (11/14/21): Gov. Ralph Northam has released a statement on the passing of Officer Michael Chandler of the Big Stone Gap Police Department.

“Pam and I were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Big Stone Gap police officer Michael Chandler, who was killed yesterday in the line of duty. Mike was a dedicated public servant, a devoted husband and father, and a trusted member of the Big Stone Gap community. Like law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth, he put his life on the line everyday in service to his fellow Virginians. And at only 29 years old, he made the ultimate sacrifice. 

“Please join me in sending prayers to his family, fellow officers, and all who loved him. I’m ordering Virginia flags be lowered on the day of his internment, in honor of Michael Chandler’s memory and sacrifice.”

Gov. Ralph Northam

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: Town of Big Stone Gap Police Chief Stephen Hamm announced that the police officer with the department, Michael Chandler, who was shot in the line of duty on Saturday died as a result of his injuries at 7 p.m.

Hamm ask that members of the community and beyond keep his family in their prayers since Saturday, Nov. 13 was also Chandler’s birthday, and a day they should have been celebrating.

According to a statement from VSP Public Information Officer Corinne Geller, a Big Stone Gap man is in custody after a large-scale search and investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement following the early morning fatal shooting of a police officer with the Town of Big Stone Gap.

The Kingsport, Tenn., Police Department’s Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division and SWAT Team arrested a 33-year-old male not long after 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Travel Inn located on Lynn Garden Drive in Kingsport according to Geller.

In that statement Geller adds the male whose name is still unknown at this time is currently being held due to probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Va. Charges in relation to the shooting of Chandler on Saturday are pending at this time. The U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, Wise County Sheriff’s Office and Bristol, Va. Police department aided in the apprehension in Kingsport, according to the VSP public information officer.


BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia State Police (VSP) have released further details surrounding the shooting of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler early Saturday morning.

According to a release from VSP Public Information Officer Corinne Geller, Chandler was asked to perform a welfare check on an individual inside an empty house on the 2500 block of Orr Street shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.

When Chandler arrived at the residence, the release says he encountered “at least one individual” and was shot in that encounter.

According to the release, a Wise County Sheriff’s Office deputy was first on the scene. Chandler was found unconscious in a ditch along the driveway to the residence, Geller said.

Chandler was taken from the scene to Norton Community Hospital before being flown to Johnson City Medical Center. Geller said he is still under treatment for “life-threatening injuries.”

Geller said Chandler’s patrol car and another vehicle were found at the scene, but no other individuals were found.

The investigation is ongoing with participation from multiple agencies in the area, as well as the US Marshals Service and Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp’s Office.

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