Richmond-based nonprofit gives family of slain Big Stone Gap officer dog tags in honor of his service

Virginia News

Photo: Town of Big Stone Gap

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Michael Chandler, a Big Stone Gap police officer who was killed during a welfare check on Nov. 13, was recently honored by a Richmond-based nonprofit dedicated to the recognition of service members killed while in the line of duty.

Point 27, an organization that recently moved its headquarters from Atlanta, Georgia, to Richmond, honored Chandler by giving dog tags inscribed with thin blue lines flags and scripture to his partner and the officers who worked closely with him.

The organization gave his family folded flag necklaces inscribed with scripture, as well as a thin red line dog tag in recognition of Chandler’s work as a volunteer firefighter in Big Stone Gap. 

The pendants are made by Shields of Strength, who specializes in religious jewelry and has been working with Point 27 since it was founded in 2014.

Point 27, which stands for Point People To Christ, focuses on providing support and encouragement to law enforcement and service members through faith. 

Chandler was responding to a welfare check on his 29th birthday when he was shot. He was later found by Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and was airlifted to a Johnson City, Tennessee hospital where he later died from his injuries.

“It is tragic that this young deputy and his family sacrificed so much,” said (Ret.) Col. David Dodd, founder of Point 27.

Michael Donivan White, who is suspected of shooting Chandler, was arrested in Tennessee and faces 13 counts including aggravated murder, which carries a mandatory minimum life sentence. His trial is set to begin April 11, 2022.

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