BRADLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Law enforcement officers shot and killed a man on a federal highway in West Virginia after they say he fled a vehicle crash scene, stole a pickup truck and led police on a chase.
The events leading up to the shooting death of Matthew Scott Jones, 36, of Culpeper, Virginia, are still under investigation, West Virginia State Police Captain R. A. Maddy said in a news release issued Thursday. Jones was killed Wednesday on U.S. Route 19 in Bradley, a community of fewer than 2,000 people.
A video of the shooting, which news outlets reported was recorded by a passerby from a car, has been circulating on social media. In it, Jones walks onto the freeway while holding what appears to be a handgun. At least a half-dozen law enforcement officers are in pursuit with their guns drawn. Jones 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 Jones, who falls to the ground. Then authorities fire several more times, even as he lies unresponsive.
“During a short standoff, the suspect continued to brandish a handgun, resulting in gunfire from law enforcement, causing the suspect’s death,” police said in the news release.
Jones first came to the authorities’ attention Wednesday morning when they received 911 calls about an armed suspect fleeing from a crash scene in Raleigh County, according to the release. According to the statement, Jones then stole a pickup truck and fled in an unknown direction. A short time later, he was located at a mall in the stolen vehicle. Jones refused to stop for officers, who chased him in two counties.
Jones got out of the truck after it became disabled off Route 19, authorities said.