The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

June 13, 2013

Suspect shot, trooper unharmed in Summers incident

While responding to a complaint of a man shooting in the River Road area near Hinton, an officer was shot at, but did not receive any serious injuries, according to the West Virginia State Police.

Cpl. J.D. Cooper of the Hinton detachment responded to the complaint Wednesday at approximately 6:30 p.m. Gary Richmond, 63, was initially identified as the shooter.

When Cooper arrived, he did not see Richmond outside, so he knocked on the front door. Richmond opened the door and was holding a revolver in his hand.

Cooper ordered Richmond to put the weapon down, but Richmond fired the revolver at him, but narrowly missed. Richmond retreated into his residence for a moment, then emerged again in attempt to shoot Cooper.

Cooper returned fire on Richmond, who went back inside his home and collapsed on the floor.

Richmond was flown to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen. Cooper did not receive any serious injuries.

Warrants will be obtained on Richmond in Raleigh County for attempted first degree murder and wanton endangerment, which will be served upon his release from the hospital.

“Looking back over my nearly 40 years in law enforcement, I can’t recall a time when there was as much violent behavior directed specifically at police officers,” State Police Superintendent Col. C.R. “Jay” Smithers said.

“It almost seems that on a daily basis, troopers are confronted with angry folks who have absolutely no regard for the welfare of others. While these types of attitudes may have been historically prevalent in other parts of the country, for the most part, they did not exist here in West Virginia.

“I am relieved that Cpl. Cooper was able to return home to his family after this incident; however, I am saddened by what seems to be an increasing trend of violent and aggressive behavior toward authority figures in our beloved state.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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