A dedicated police officer and hardworking fire department volunteer has passed away following a routine welfare check.
Michael Chandler from Big Stone Gap, Virginia, was a Big Stone Gap Fire Department volunteer and an officer of the Big Stone Gap Police Department who was fatally shot on his 29th birthday.
According to the local reports, the young man was carrying out a welfare check at what was deemed to be an abandoned residence on Saturday morning.
After arriving at the home, Officer Chandler “encountered at least one individual” who shot the cop and left him for dead. It wasn’t until later that the officer was found lying motionless along the property’s driveway.
Miraculously, the officer was still alive when he was found, and he continued to battle his condition for hours before succumbing to his wounds.
“When Officer Chandler arrived at the residence, he encountered at least one individual. It was during this encounter that Officer Chandler was shot,” Corinne Geller of the Virginia State Police said in an interview with WTVR-TV.
“His battle to survive today was truly miraculous, but he succumbed to his injuries around 7:00 pm this evening at the hospital with his family at his side,” Big Stone Gap Police Chief Stephen Hamm added.
“Mike’s loss will be felt by our town and across all of Wise County. Not only did he serve as an officer with the Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, but also as a volunteer with the Big Stone Gap Fire Department.
“Please keep his family in your prayers tonight, as this should have been a day to celebrate his 29th birthday – not a day to mourn his passing.”
Following the shooting, the police launched a manhunt for the gunman. The authorities later arrested a 33-year-old male suspect who was hiding at a motel just over the border with Tennessee.
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