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Man shot himself as officers approached vehicle, police say

The fatal incident that shut down several near-downtown intersections Thursday evening was caused, Charlottesville Police say, by a wanted man who turned his gun on himself after talking with officers.

According to a release by the police, an officer told dispatchers around 4:22 p.m. that he was talking the man, with whom he was familiar.

“After a few moments of speaking with the suspect, he fled in his vehicle at a high rate of speed,” said the release. “The suspect collided with multiple vehicles as he fled the scene.”

The man stopped the car a short distance away and, as police approached the car, the man showed a firearm and then shot himself to death, according to a statement released by police.

The release indicates that other officers spotted the suspect’s vehicle but that as they approached, the suspect showed a firearm.

“A single shot was fired from inside of the vehicle,” according to the release.

The officers attempted life-saving measures and emergency personnel were immediately dispatched. The man was declared dead at the scene.

Police would not release any more information and did not identify the man or why he was wanted.

Neighbors around the intersection of Elliott Avenue and 6th Street Southeast say a silver-colored car with a smashed-out back window came to rest at the edge of the intersection. The vehicle appeared to have collided with a dark-colored SUV, whose driver, neighbors say, appeared to be an uninjured.

A white tent was erected beside his vehicle as evidence collection occurred at the scene Thursday. That intersection and several surrounding it were closed to traffic until around 9:25 p.m. Thursday.

Police spokesperson Kyle Ervin declined Friday to answer any questions about the incident, but police appear to have some unanswered questions of their own. They are asking the public to share information they may have and on Friday afternoon, the business card of the investigating officer could be seen clipped to the mailbox of at least one nearby home.


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