Powhatan deputy shoots man who opened fire on law enforcement, sheriff’s office says

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POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A man is in the hospital after the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office said he tried to shoot a deputy Sunday night.

Deputies responded to Three Bridge Road around 7 p.m. after they got a tip that 25-year-old Joshua Sprouse was sending text messages threatening to kill members of his family and law enforcement.

When deputies arrived on scene they said Sprouse was shooting different weapons in various directions, including at cars that were passing by. Deputies shut down the road and warned neighbors.

Deputies set up a perimeter around Sprouse’s house and said they tried to communicate with him but were unsuccessful.

The sheriff’s office said that Sprouse left his house and tried to shoot a deputy. The deputy fired back and shot him.

A neighbor across the street told 8News he watched the entire scene unfold.

“Swat team kind of showed up. Guys with automatic weapons and bullet proof vests were like chasing people around,” Adam Hamil said. “Apparently, somebody took off running because they were looking through the woods with flashlights looking for somebody.”

Hamil said he wasn’t concerned until it got dark and the gunfire did not stop.

“We thought it was just somebody shooting guns. No big deal. That happens all the time out here in the country. We didn’t really think much of it until it got to be 8:30, 9:00 and it was dark. We were like, “You aren’t supposed to be shooting guns after dark,” Hamil said.

Another neighbor, Jennifer Durrbeck, said she knew something was wrong when the gunfire didn’t stop after the sun went down.

“I would say it was over 100 shots. I would hear anywhere from three to five gunshots at any given time just shooting off,” Durrbeck said. “Once it became dark and it continued, we kind of figured something a little bit more serious was going on. We knew it was bad when the cops wouldn’t let us come out.”​

The Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office said Sprouse was taken to the hospital and went through surgery. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.


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