In the past several days, we have seen 10 officers shot in the line of duty. Unfortunately, this is becoming common place.
Newport News Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that left an officer, a civilian and a murder suspect wounded Saturday afternoon in Newport News.
Police Chief Steve Drew stated in a media briefing that the officer-involved shooting and an earlier shooting that left a woman dead at a gas station were connected.
Officer-involved shooting & homicide at Circle K gas station ARE CONNECTED
-3 people shot/hospitalized (1 officer – stable, 1 civilian – serious condition, suspect – OTW to surgery)
-Man who shot at police is the man wanted from the homicide at Circle K
— Erin Miller (@Emiller_reports) August 17, 2019
Officers were dispatched to a shooting at a Circle K gas station just before 3:35 p.m. When police arrived, they found a woman shot to death. They believe it was a domestic shooting.
“I had several witnesses on that lot that saw that take place. There was some footage there,” Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew. “As we got good information right away, it appears it is going be domestic-related and we were able to identify a vehicle and a suspect.”
Approximately two hours after the woman was killed, Drew said officers found the suspect’s car in a nearby apartment complex parking lot. After police surrounded the area, a person came out of the apartment from behind and started shooting at officers, according to Chief Drew.
The suspect’s gunfire struck an officer and an individual who was riding along with the officer at the time. Officers returned fire and the suspect was struck. All three have been taken to an area hospital.
Officials said the officer was in stable condition. The civilian had serious injuries and the suspect was on the way to surgery, police said.
Police had taped off the intersection of Peninsula Drive and Fairfax Avenue.
Law Enforcement Today will provide updates as they become available.
According to Cpl. Dallas Thompson with Missouri State Highway Patrol, the standoff ended just after 5 p.m. when the suspect surrendered to the SWAT team.
It all started when four officers were serving an eviction notice to James D. Cummings. That’s when the 31-year-old of Van Buren, Missouri reportedly shot a deputy and a state trooper.
He’s now being held at the Butler County Jail with no bond, charged with four counts of felony first degree assault/serious physical injury and four counts of armed criminal action.
According to police, they used every negotiating tactic in the book during the standoff.
They were finally able to get him to surrender peacefully before anyone else was hurt.
“Someone could’ve died. They just didn’t get into a little tussle on the side of the road. I mean he pulled out a weapon. If you pull out a weapon and start shooting at people you’re expecting to kill them,” said Cpl. Thompson.
Using a loud speaker, Highway Patrol SWAT spoke to him until finally he left the residence with his hands up and surrendered.
“You don’t know what you’re approaching,” said Cpl.Thompson. “You don’t know who’s in the house. You don’t know what their intents to harm you are. So when they open the door and open fire, if you are able to walk away from that with even some serious injuries you can heal from, we’re very thankful.”
A judge ordered him to leave the home on Monday and pay more than $4,500 in back rent, according to court documents. That court order gave permission for the sheriff’s office to forcibly remove Cummings if he refused to leave the property.
They officers tried to serve the eviction notice at 9:51 a.m., and they say that’s when Cummings began firing from inside the residence.
He hit a Carter County Sheriff’s deputy and a MSHP trooper, who most likely wouldn’t have survived if they weren’t wearing bullet-resistant vests.
Sgt. Parrott says the deputy was shot three times, getting hit in the leg, groin and chest.
The trooper was shot in the shoulder and vest and was able to escape on his own.
There was another trooper was on scene when the two officers were shot, and he was able to pull the injured deputy from the porch to safety.
“Gun fire opens from inside the house you’re not sure where it’s coming from, two officers go down one was able to extricate himself. Then the other officers were able to help the (deputy) who was down and get him to safety, and get medical attention to him as quickly as possible,” said Cpl. Thompson.
Sgt. Parrott says the injuries the two sustained are considered non-life threatening.
The trooper was released from the hospital and the deputy was in stable condition at a St. Louis hospital.
According to MSHP Cpl. Dallas Thompson, a SWAT team moved in closer to the house after that.
According to police, negotiators with SWAT and FBI then spent more than six hours trying to make contact through a variety of means, including calling the house, yelling and using bull horns.
“Initially we did not have the SWAT team here yet,” said Cpl. Thomspon. “So the officers that were there were taking a tactical stance back so they could have some cover. We were trying to talk through telephone calls and no one would answer. We were trying to yell through a bull horn, no one would answer. So once we got the property equipment here for the safety of the officers that helped us out drastically.”
“We wish it was ended already,” said Cpl. Dallas Thompson with Missouri State Highway Patrol said before the suspect surrendered. “Once things get dark it gets even more dangerous for the officers an everyone involved.”
The brother and father of the suspect told local media outlets they also tried getting in touch with him… and couldn’t understand what had happened.
“To fight for his rights? No that’s not out of character.” said one family member. What is he like? “Hardworking, takes care of his family, he’s wilder, he’s the wild one -and I’m the responsible one,” said another family member.
After he surrendered, police spent hours searching Cummings’ home for firearms and other evidence. They didn’t find anyone else in the home.
“Once we start getting the scene secured and start cleaning things up we are going to open that road way back up and the people that have been away from home all day trying to get back home will be able to do so. We appreciate their patience. They’ve been very nice to us, and helpful by staying out of the area,” said Cpl. Thompson.
Gov. Mike Parson weighed in on the situation in a Facebook post, saying the officers were ambushed.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt commented on the shooting in a Tweet.
We're glad that the two officers involved in the standoff earlier today are going to be okay, and we're praying for a speedy recovery! This is another important reminder of the dangers our brave law enforcement face every day when protecting the communities they serve. https://t.co/MpqCEnX0ng
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) August 16, 2019
Other agencies also left messages for the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol.