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In a news release Virginia State Police say the owner of Rogers Service Center, a salvage business in Vansant, called 911 concerning a robbery on his property. Deputies Rasnake and Charles searched for the suspect. Within minutes the two deputies were shot multiple times from a distance by a high-powered rifle. Police say both deputies were able to crawl to a home to take cover and call for help. More deputies and state police then responded. Deputies Justus and Stiltner were shot with a high-powered rifle as police attempted to set up a perimeter around the suspect.
"He was evidently in the prone position or laying down on the ground. I could see his head up every now and then," Daniels told AP.
The deputy ordered the man to come out of the woods and show his hands.
"So we started walking towards him. He raised up a little farther, he brought that rifle around there and we'd seen it. At that time we hit the ground," Daniels said.
Daniels took cover underneath a pickup truck. He couldn't see the shootout after that, but estimated at least 50 shots were fired.
"A lot of praying went on. A lot of praying — for him, and myself, and my families," Daniels said.
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding Sunday’s fatal shooting of two Buchanan County Sheriff’s deputies.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Buchanan County community and the families and friends of the two sheriff’s deputies who were tragically killed Sunday. Our Commonwealth has lost two brave public servants and this horrific act of senseless violence has dealt a heartbreaking blow to the people of this close-knit community. We also continue to pray for the full and swift recoveries of the two other deputies who were wounded in the same shooting. Yesterday’s devastating event was yet another reminder that every day, in every city and county, the men and women of Virginia law enforcement agencies put their lives on the line to keep us safe. They sacrifice much for us; we owe everything to them. In this difficult and trying time, Virginians will come together to support the families of these law enforcement members and the entire Buchanan County community.”