|CHARLESTON SHOOT-OUT - Charleston police said three people were in custody following a traffic stop that led to shots being fired between a suspect and police and a pursuit that ended with a crash into a home.|
Charleston Police Chief James "Tyke" Hunt played body worn camera from police during the incident that started around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday on Court Street near the interstate overpass.
Police had conducted a traffic stop on a car that didn't have a visible license plate, Hunt told reporters in a news conference Tuesday evening.
Charleston Police Chief James "Tyke" Hunt held a news conference Tuesday evening after a man was shot by police who police said opened fire on them after fleeing from a traffic stop.
While the primary officer on scene was doing a vehicle information check and checking occupants for any possible warrants, Hunt said one of the men in the car fled the scene.
That man was identified as Joseph Scott Larch, 38, of Charleston.
Joseph Larch is currently in critical condition at CAMC General Hospital. He is charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment.
Hunt said Larch could be seen in the body camera video turning toward the officer with a gun during the chase and firing multiple rounds at the officer. The officer then returned fire, hitting Larch multiple times.
"When the gunfire ceases, you will see two police officers go into a doorway to locate the offender. When the offender is located, I want you to please listen to the audio. You will immediately hear our officers call for paramedics to come and treat him. When the handcuffs go on, you will hear our officers begin to talk about the aid they are going to render this person," Hunt said during the news conference.
Larch is currently in critical condition at CAMC General Hospital. He is charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment. Hunt said Larch had a criminal history with the Charleston Police Department.
As the gunfire was being exchanged, the driver of the car in the traffic stop fled the scene, police said.
The car was located on West Side hill and crashed into a home on Valley Drive during a short pursuit. James H. Evans, 20, of Elkview was captured in the area and taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries he received in the crash. He was released Tuesday evening and taken to the police department for booking and arraignment. Hunt said Evans was wanted on federal charges and is also being charged with fleeing with reckless indifference.
Another man, Brandon Bandy, 26, of Elkview also fled the scene from the traffic stop while wearing just one handcuff. Hunt said police were in the process of taking Bandy into custody when the officer heard shots being fired. "He immediately let go of that offender to go and help his fellow officer," Hunt said.
CHARLESTON MURDER - Charleston police said an argument over stolen tennis shoes is what sparked a deadly shooting Monday on Charleston's West Side.
Christopher Neil Smith, 38, of Charleston is charged with first-degree murder and malicious wounding. Amanda Dawn Burdette, 35, was killed in the shooting while Jay Jerome Henry Jr., 30, was taken to the hospital after being shot multiple times.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Henry Jr. was found just after noon outside the home at 825 Stockton St. with gunshot wounds to his elbow, shoulder, and head. While speaking to police, he told them, "Chris shot me," according to the complaint.
After searching the home, police said, they found Burdette on the side porch laying on a makeshift bed. She had also been shot multiple times, police said. After being taken to the hospital, she was later pronounced dead.
Henry Jr. remains in critical condition.
Investigators said they were able to obtain information that Smith was the suspect after Henry Jr. told them Smith "rolled up on them."
"The defendant began cursing and accusing Mr. Henry Jr. and Ms. Burdette of stealing his wife's Jordan shoes," Detective W.M. Lovern wrote in the criminal complaint.
Police said Henry Jr. told Smith he didn't know what happened to the shoes. but Smith then pulled out a black pistol and started firing shots at the two victims.
Police said Henry Jr. told them he often buys drugs from Smith and is familiar with him. He was able to provide police a description and identified Smith from a photograph, police said.
Smith was captured about 5 a.m. in the Clendenin area after an all-night search.
He was arraigned before Magistrate Joe Shelton and taken to the South Central Regional Jail.