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Update: Police find vehicle linked to Lee County homicide, but make no arrest

Staff report • Aug 29, 2018 at 1:15 PM

NORTON — A vehicle believed to have been driven by a man suspected in the Tuesday shooting death of a Lee County man was found Wednesday in the City of Norton.

Authorities had been searching for a gold Toyota Avalon since Tuesday evening when Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies found Lee David Lipps, 34, of Pennington Gap suffering gunshot wounds. Lipps was transported to Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap where he was pronounced dead.

City of Norton Police Chief James Lane told the Times News his officers were notified by Wise County 911 at around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday that the suspect vehicle may have been spotted parked on the Holly Court side of Hawthorne Acres Apartments, and a male subject had entered one of the apartments.

Lane said himself and some of his officers went to the location to secure the area and await the arrival of Virginia State Police troopers. The VSP's Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Wytheville Field Office is investigating the homicide case with the assistance of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Lane said while waiting for VSP personnel to arrive, a male subject exited an apartment and approached the suspect vehicle and got into the car. Lane and his officers surrounded the vehicle and VSP personnel arrived shortly thereafter to secure the male subject and take things from there, Lane said.

He said VSP investigators, armed with warrants, conducted a search of an apartment at that location and the suspect vehicle as well.

As of nearly 6 p.m. Wednesday the VSP thanked the public for tips that helped authorities locate the suspect vehicle. The VSP would only say its investigators "have also spent time Wednesday questioning an individual to determine if he is connected to the investigation. At this time, no arrest has been made in this case."

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