Driver shot, killed in traffic stop in Culpeper County

WASHINGTON — An attempted traffic stop in Culpeper County, Virginia, ended with the driver shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies, according to the department and Virginia State Police.

Police have identified the driver who was killed as 43-year-old Eric Wesley Clark of Culpeper, Virginia.

Monday evening, the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a domestic assault and identifying Clark as the suspect. The caller said Clark had left the residence and provided a description of his vehicle, according to police.

Culpeper deputies spotted the vehicle and tried to initiate a traffic stop. Clark did not stop and a pursuit began that ended several minutes later, near the intersection of Sperryville Pike and Griffinsburg Road.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office released a statement: “The driver of the vehicle presented a deadly threat to the officers and they responded by shooting and killing the driver.”

Clark died and a shotgun was recovered at the scene, police say.

Sheriff Scott Jenkins has asked the Virginia State Police to investigate the shooting incident.

“I’m so grateful that our deputies are safe,” Jenkins said in the statement. “I’m deeply saddened by what they were forced to do and pray for comfort for everyone affected by this incident.”

The deputies are on what the department called “modified duty,” until the investigation is complete. The deputies have not been identified at this time.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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