PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — What started as an afternoon traffic stop has escalated into a multiple death investigations in Stanley, Virginia. A Town of Stanley Police Officer was shot and killed on Feb. 26 and later that same day the man who shot him was killed by Page County Sheriff’s Deputies.
Virginia State Police are investigating both shootings and released extra details on Tuesday. Police in Stanley were on the lookout for a suspicious person with a gun, driving a 2002 Honda Civic on Feb. 26. Town of Stanley Police Officer D.J. “Nick” Winum saw a car matching that description and initiated a traffic stop using his emergency equipment at 3:15 p.m.
The Civic stopped in the 600 block of Judy Lane and the driver quickly exited his vehicle. Dakota G. Richards, 29, left the Honda and shot at Officer Winum’s patrol vehicle. Winum, who was inside of the vehicle, was hit and died at the scene.
Richards left a handgun behind and ran away into the woods. He was found that same day, hiding in a barn in the 700 block of Marksville Road.
According to VSP, when Page County Sheriff’s Deputies located Richards in the barn, he made a “threatening movement” which prompted deputies to fire their weapons. Richards was shot and died at the scene.
Authorities found a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle in his possession.
VSP will eventually turn over the investigation to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review and adjudication.