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Va. burglary suspect fatally shot after threatening officers with BB pistol

From staff reports • May 9, 2018 at 6:53 PM

WYTHEVILLE — The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office is continuing its investigation into Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting in Washington County. 

According to VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller, the incident began at approximately 7:30 p.m., when a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted a 2008 Chrysler Sebring that fit the description of a vehicle believed to be connected to a residential burglary that occurred Monday. 

The deputy initiated a traffic stop on Main Street in Abingdon. During the course of the traffic stop, the Sebring fled the scene and the officer initiated a pursuit, which continued onto Interstate 81 and then onto Highway 11. A VSP trooper, who was assisting with the pursuit, maneuvered the Sebring to a stop on Maple Street in Glade Spring.

The Sebring’s driver, Phillip C. Gibson II, 37, of Castlewood, fled on foot. As Gibson attempted to escape from law enforcement, he tripped and fell. It was at this point that Gibson pointed a firearm at the deputies. Three deputies fired at Gibson. 

Despite the efforts of a Glade Spring police officer and VSP trooper to administer CPR, Gibson died at the scene. His body was transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy.

VSP special agents found concealed on Gibson’s person a .357 handgun that had been reported stolen Monday from a residence in Washington County. The special agents also recovered from inside the Sebring numerous items reported stolen from other residential burglaries. Further investigation by state police also revealed that the firearm pointed at the deputies was a BB gun replica of a pistol.

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