Despite an officer-involved shooting that sent a Martinsville Police officer and a Martinsville man to the hospital, authorities have offered little new information and declined to answer specific questions about the incident on New Year’s night.
Virginia State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Rick Garletts said in a release Thursday that the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office would investigate the shooting at the request of Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady.
Garletts’ release stated an officer was flown to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., and “treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound” and that the Martinsville man was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for “treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”
Garletts confirmed Friday night that the officer was released from the hospital on Thursday but did not provide an update on the condition of the Martinsville man’s condition. He did not name either person.
And that’s all the information that has been updated since the incident unfolded following an attempted traffic stop three days ago.
What we do know
Garlett’s release said a Martinsville Police officer attempted to stop a 2002 Toyota Pickup for a traffic violation on Memorial Boulevard at Askin Street. The Toyota didn’t stop, and a pursuit followed, ending when the driver of the pickup jumped out of the vehicle on Theatre Street in Henry County.
At least two officers pursued the motorist on foot and behind a nearby apartment building. The man then began firing a gun, striking one of the officers. The officers returned fire, apparently striking the man. That information is based on a release from Garletts and statements from residents of the area.
What we don’t know
Police continue to withhold the names and details of the two police officers involved in the shootout. They have refused to provide the name of the man they have identified as being 37 years old and from Martinsville. They say he was injured in an exchange of gunfire.
It is unknown what traffic violation the officer observed that warranted the traffic stop.
Cassady declined to provide details the night of the shooting, saying only that the matter would be investigated by the Virginia State Police and any information regarding the incident would be deferred VSP.
When asked the names of the officers and man involved in the shooting Garletts said: “We will not release those. That will be up to the Martinsville Police Department to release those if they choose.”
Cassady and Deputy Police Chief Robert Fincher have not responded to requests for the names of those involved.
Garletts has indicated charges are pending but did not respond to a question asking when that might occur — nor did he respond to a request for information on the status of the investigation or when it might be concluded.