The VPSF expresses their condolences to Chief Russell and the Wintergreen Police Department on the loss of their friend and colleague, Officer Chris Wagner.
MESSAGE FROM WINTERGREEN POLICE CHIEF DENNIS RUSSELL:
Mark Christopher "Chris" Wagner II was a dedicated Officer who served the Wintergreen community with honor. On June 16th, 2023 Chris answered his final call before taking his place with other heroes who have gone before him by laying down his life for the people he swore to protect and serve.
Chris, was thirty-one years old, a 2010 graduate of Spotswood High School, he was a resident of Stuarts Draft. Chris is survived by his immediate family and the men and women who were his Wintergreen Police family. Chris started his career at Wintergreen in August of 2020. Previously he served seven years with the Massanutten Police Department starting out as a Gate Attendant and then becoming a Police Officer after graduating from the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Academy in May of 2019. Chris asked for and worked the midnight shift. Whenever you saw Chris in the daylight, he wore dark dark sunglasses, and would crack a smile or two. Chris was dedicated to his job and whenever called for extra duty he was ready, willing and able. His love for the badge was evident and his commitment to the community was undeniable. Chris was an avid outdoorsman, spending his off-time hiking and photographing nature. Chris is remembered for always going out of his way to cheer others up and his infectious laugh was loud and echoed throughout the office. Chris was the Agency's TASER and BolaWrap instructor. His father, holding back tearful emotions, remarked that Chris was like Batman and was reminded of recently gifting him a batarang to go with all the tools Chris carried on his belt. Chris Wagner, Wintergreen Police Officer ID #15, was and always will be a hero. A contribution page will be announced. Written with a heavy heart by Dennis Russell, Chief of Police.
VSP NEWS RELEASE:
At the request of Wintergreen Police Chief Dennis Russell, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office is investigating the circumstances of an incident that resulted in the fatal shooting of a Wintergreen Police Officer and the injury of three others Friday night (June 16).
The incident began shortly after 10 p.m. Friday when an emergency call came in to the Wintergreen Police Department about an adult male resident having assaulted two other adult males at a residence on Arrowood Lane. After calling police, the two injured males fled the residence on foot. They are being treated at UVA Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.
At this stage of the investigation, it appears the first Wintergreen Police Officer to arrive at the residence located the adult male suspect in the nearby woods and a struggle ensued. During the course of the struggle, the officer was shot and died at the scene.
The male suspect was taken into custody without further incident by Wintergreen Police and the Nelson County Sheriff's Office. The male suspect was suffering from a non-life threatening injury and was transported to UVA Medical Center for treatment.