Long lines of Memorial Day weekend traffic near the I-581 interchange on I-81 in Roanoke, Virgina was caused after a suspect led law enforcement on a chase that ended with the suspect wrecking his vehicle near mile marker 144, after which he climbed from the wreckage, displayed a firearm and was promptly shot by officers on the scene.
Virginia State Police stated that an officer initiated a traffic stop at 2:53 p.m. on a vehicle traveling south on I-81 near the 165 mile marker in Botetourt County. The driver of that vehicle refused to stop and a chase ensued.
The suspect continued south on I-81, when just before the I-81/581 merge in Roanoke County, the suspect’s vehicle ran off the right side of the highway and crashed. Police state he then exited his vehicle and flashed a gun around. He refused to comply with the Trooper’s demands to drop the weapon and was shot.
A spokesperson for the State Highway Patrol said officers administered first aid to the man before he was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
The incident still remains under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office.
Traffic on I-581 north and I-81 in both directions was stopped for over an hour shortly after 2:45 p.m., and traffic on I-581 was restored just before 4:30 p.m.