Virginia cop dies on his 29th birthday hours after he was shot while conducting welfare check


Virginia cop dies on his 29th birthday hours after getting shot while conducting welfare check: Suspect arrested 40 miles away

  • Officer Michael Chandler of Big Stone Gap Police Department died on Saturday 
  • He was shot while conducting welfare check at around 4am on Saturday 
  • Chandler was found by sheriff’s deputy inside a ditch near driveway of a home 
  • He was airlifted to a hospital and pronounced dead on Saturday evening 
  • The shooting took place on the same day that Chandler turned 29 years of age 
  • After shooting, state, local, and federal agencies launched manhunt for suspect 
  • A 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap was taken into custody 40 miles away 
  • Suspect apprehended without incident outside motel in Kingsport, Tennessee  


A Virginia police officer died on his 29th birthday just hours after he was shot while performing a welfare check early on Saturday morning.

Officer Michael Chandler of the Big Stone Gap Police Department was conducting a welfare check at around 4am on Saturday when he encountered at least one person in an abandoned home.

‘When Officer Chandler arrived at the residence, he encountered at least one individual,’ Virginia State Police Corinne Geller told WTVR-TV.

‘It was during this encounter that Officer Chandler was shot.’

A deputy from Wise County Sheriff’s Office found Chandler lying unconscious in a ditch along the home’s driveway.

Chandler was then airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee with life-threatening injuries. He died hours later.

Officer Michael Chandler of the Big Stone Gap (Virginia) Police Department was conducting a welfare check at around 4am on Saturday when he encountered at least one person in an abandoned home

State and federal agencies then launched a manhunt for the suspect, a 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap who was arrested at a motel some 40 miles away just over the border in Tennessee. According to WCYB-TV, the suspect was caught after he was located at Travel Inn in Kingsport (above)

State and federal agencies then launched a manhunt for the suspect, a 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap who was arrested at a motel some 40 miles away just over the border in Tennessee. According to WCYB-TV, the suspect was caught after he was located at Travel Inn in Kingsport (above)

The image above shows the motel room that was raided by authorities who arrested the suspect

The image above shows the motel room that was raided by authorities who arrested the suspect

He is being held on probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Virginia

He is being held on probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Virginia

State and federal agencies then launched a manhunt for the suspect, a 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap who was arrested at a motel some 40 miles away just over the border in Tennessee.

According to WCYB-TV, the suspect was caught after he was located at Travel Inn in Kingsport.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, was arrested without incident by Kingsport Police. He is being held on probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Virginia.

The Big Stone Gap Police Department paid tribute to Chandler.

‘His battle to survive today was truly miraculous,’ Big Stone Gap Police Chief Stephen Hamm said.

State and federal agencies then launched a manhunt for the suspect, a 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap who was arrested at a motel some 40 miles away just over the border in Tennessee

State and federal agencies then launched a manhunt for the suspect, a 33-year-old man from Big Stone Gap who was arrested at a motel some 40 miles away just over the border in Tennessee

The motel in Kingsport, Tennessee where the arrest took place is seen above

The motel in Kingsport, Tennessee where the arrest took place is seen above

‘But, he succumbed to his injuries around 7:00pm this evening at the hospital with his family at his side.

‘Mike’s loss will be felt by our town and across all of Wise County.

‘Not only did he serve as an officer with the Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, but also as a volunteer with the Big Stone Gap Fire Department.

‘Please keep his family in your prayers tonight, as this should have been a day to celebrate his 29th birthday – not a day to mourn his passing.’

The United States Marshals Service offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam expressed condolences on Sunday and ordered state flags lowered on the day of his internment.

Northam eulogized Chandler as a ‘dedicated public servant, a devoted husband and father, and a trusted member of the Big Stone Gap community.’

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Virginia State Police at 276-228-3131 or via email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk