The deceased, identified as 34-year-old Nathan Curtis Castle of Duffield, was fatally shot by a Wise County deputy at an on-ramp of U.S. Route 23 near Union High School.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday, a Wise County deputy observed a pickup truck driving erratically on State Route 610 near Big Stone Gap and attempted to make a traffic stop. However, the driver refused to stop and sped off, according to the Virginia State Police, in charge of the investigation since Monday.
As the pickup truck entered the southbound entrance ramp to U.S. Route 23 on the outskirts of Big Stone Gap, it came to a stop in the ramp’s travel lane, the VSP reported. The adult male driver, identified Tuesday as Castle, exited the truck armed with a shotgun and reportedly ignored warnings to drop the weapon and surrender.
The deputy, who remains unidentified, fired at the driver. Castle died at the scene. As usual in officer-involved shootings in Southwest Virginia, the VSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office took on the investigation at the request of Wise County Sheriff Ronnie Oakes.
On Tuesday, Wise County Sheriff’s Office Col. Grant Kilgore noted that “any time any of our officers are involved in a situation like that, we turn the investigation over to another agency, in this case, the Virginia State Police.”