(12/22/2009)
A Wirt County woman who has a history of mental illness was shot by a West Virginia state trooper. She remains in critical condition in a Morgantown hospital.

Glenna Westfall, 39, of Elizabeth, was shot late Sunday night by Sgt. A. D. Nichols who was responding to a 911 call to Westfall's mobile home at the intersection of Rt. 5-14 in Elizabeth.

State Police issued a statement saying when the trooper arrived at the residence, Westfall grabbed a sword and aggressively advanced toward the officer.

The officer shot Westfall twice, reportedly in the upper body.

Westfall was alone when the incident happened.

"The trooper fired his weapon and stopped the imminent threat," the press release says. "The trooper then provided basic first aid assistance, while he awaited the arrival of medical personnel."

The officer was not injured.

Authorities had responded to a 911 call a short time before the shooting. Westfall was on the Route 5 Elizabeth bridge, allegedly threatening to commit suicide.

An official with the 911 Center in Wood County said authorities responded to a suicide call that came in around 11:08 p.m. Sunday.

In addition to the trooper, deputies from the Wirt County Sheriff's Department and Wirt County EMS responded to the suicide call.

State police spokesman M.T. Baylous said, "There will be an internal investigation, as well as a criminal investigation in regard to Westfall's actions," saying charges against Westfall are pending.

The officer has been put on leave, following procedure.

Westfall was a client of Westbrook mental health services.


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