|MAN SHOT WITH PAINT GUN - Six days after Monongalia deputies shot and killed a man, the sheriff's office announced that he was holding a paint spray gun, not a firearm.|
In its announcement Friday afternoon, the Monongalia County Sheriff's Office said Randall Beymer, 62, threatened the deputies with a black "paint can gun." Deputies described the sprayer as having a pistol-type grip and "a trigger assembly that closely resembled a handgun."
Five deputies are on administrative leave as an internal investigation continues, the sheriff's office said.
The sheriff's office first released a vague statement last Sunday, a day after the shooting, and it said deputies responded to Williams Road, off Fairmont Road, at about 2:40 p.m.
They had received complaints about an armed man on someone's property.
A standoff ensued, the office said, and deputies opened fire on Beymer.
The first release did not specify how many deputies shot Beymer or whether he actually had a firearm.
The Friday release said officers with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources arrived at the scene first. They encountered Beymer, who allegedly made "threatening gestures."
"When they ordered him to stop, he reportedly verbalized to them that he would not stop and wanted a confrontation," the release states.
The sheriff's office said five deputies then arrived, and that one tried to negotiate with Beymer, who stood behind a tree. The release said body cameras recorded the interaction between Beymer and authorities.
Beymer then lunged toward the closest officer while "extending and pointing the device" at the officer, according to the release.
The deputies, whose names have not been made public, then shot and killed Beymer.
Sheriff Perry Palmer said no further information would be released Friday. He would not take questions from a reporter, and he did not respond to phone calls and emails made Tuesday and Thursday.
Friday's news release also said the sheriff's office was conducting a felony investigation against Beymer, although it did not specify what accusations he was facing.
The Gazette-Mail interviewed eight people who knew Beymer, the majority of whom claimed Beymer was facing false criminal accusations, pushing him to a breaking point.