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Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler succumbs to injuries following shooting

While on duty, Town of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler stopped out with an individual shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 13) who asked the officer to conduct a welfare check on an individual at a vacant residence in the 2500 block of Orr Street. When Officer Chandler arrived at the residence, he encountered at least one individual. It was during this encounter that Officer Chandler was shot. A Wise County Sheriff's Office Deputy was first to arrive on scene. Officer Chandler was found lying unconscious in a ditch along the driveway to the residence. His patrol car and another vehicle were both at the scene, but there was no other person at the scene. The officer was initially transported to Norton Community Hospital and then flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment. He later succumbed to his injuries.

STATEMENT BY TOWN OF BIG STONE GAP POLICE CHIEF STEPHEN HAMM It is with a heavy heart that I must inform our community of the line of duty death of Officer Michael D. Chandler. His battle to survive today was truly miraculous. But, he succumbed to his injuries around 7:00 p.m. this evening at the hospital with his family at his side. Mike's loss will be felt by our town and across all of Wise County. Not only did he serve as an officer with the Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, but also as a volunteer with the Big Stone Gap Fire Department. Please keep his family in your prayers tonight, as this should have been a day to celebrate his 29th birthday - not a day to mourn his passing. I ask that the media respect the family's wishes to not contact them during this incredibly difficult time.


VIRGINIA STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE: Suspect in Fatal Big Stone Gap Officer Shooting in Custody A Big Stone Gap man is in police custody tonight after an extensive search and investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement following the fatal shooting of a The Town of Big Stone Gap Police Officer early Saturday (Nov. 13). The 33-year-old male was apprehended without incident by the Kingsport Police Department Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division and SWAT Team shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday at the Travel Inn located in the 800 block of Lynn Garden Drive in Kingsport, Tenn. He is currently being held on probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Va. Charges related to the shooting of the officer are pending at this time. The United States Marshals Service FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation Wise County Sheriff's Office and BRISTOL VIRGINIA POLICE DEPARTMENT assisted w/the apprehension in Kingsport, Tenn. The investigation remains ongoing at this time, in coordination with the Big Stone Gap Police Department, Wise County Sheriff's Office and Chuck Slemp, Commonwealth's Attorney of Wise County & the City of Norton. Anyone with information related to this incident, please contact the Virginia State Police at 276-228-3131 or at


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