Danville man taken into custody after throwing knife at courthouse deputy

Danville man taken into custody after throwing knife at courthouse deputy
The knife hit a wall and fell to the ground. (Source: WDBJ)

DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - A man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after throwing a knife at a deputy in the Danville Courthouse.

Just before 1:30 p.m., deputies say, the suspect entered the courthouse with a backpack on. A deputy sheriff asked him standard security and COVID-19 questions, at which point the Danville Sheriff’s Office said he became agitated and turned to face a temperature station.

The deputy then noticed what appeared to be a large knife in the suspect’s waistband area. The sheriff’s office said he turned and concealed his right hand from the deputy’s sight and postured himself as if he had a weapon. The deputy then drew his duty weapon, pointed it at the suspect, and took cover.

Date: April 15, 2021​ Yesterday at approximately 1:21PM, a man entered the Danville Courthouse with a backpack on. When he entered, he was greeted by a Deputy Sheriff who asked him standard security and COVID 19 questions. The man quickly became agitated and turned to face a stand up temperature station. When he turned, the Deputy noticed what appeared to be a large knife in his waistband area. The man then turned around and concealed his right hand away from the sight of the Deputy and postured himself as if he had a weapon. The Deputy drew his duty weapon, pointed it at the man, and took cover for his safety. The man was still concealing most of his right arm by his side. With the same arm he had concealed, the man suddenly threw a knife at the Deputy. The knife impacted a wall and fell to the ground, missing the Deputy by only a few inches. Other Deputies, who responded to the call for back up, quickly responded and took the man into custody. The man never gained entry past the security station at the front of the courthouse. He did have another butcher style knife in his possession, which was the one in his waistband area. The suspect in the incident, identified as Jay Weldon Miller age 62 of Danville was taken to the hospital, and an Emergency Custody Order (ECO) was issued for safety and mental health concerns. Subsequently, a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) was issued for placement at a mental hospital. Charges may be pending depending on the outcome of an investigation by the Danville Police Department. Sheriff Mondul- “This was clearly an incident with the potential for an officer shooting scenario. Deputy J.L. Turner should be commended for his actions during this incident. I am thankful it had a safe ending, and that no one was hurt.”

Posted by Danville Sheriff's Office on Thursday, April 15, 2021

Suddenly, the sheriff’s office said the suspect threw a knife at the deputy, narrowly missing him. Instead, the knife hit a wall and fell to the ground. Other deputies responded and took the suspect into custody. He had a second, butcher-style knife in his possession, which was what the deputy previously observed in the waistband area.

The suspect, 62-year-old Jay Weldon Miller of Danville, was taken to a hospital, and an Emergency Custody Order was issued for safety and mental health concerns, according to the sheriff’s office. A Temporary Detention Order was issued for his placement at a mental hospital. The sheriff’s office said charges may be pending depending on the outcome of an investigation by the Danville Police Department.

“This was clearly an incident with the potential for an officer shooting scenario,” said Sheriff Mike Mondul. “Deputy J.L. Turner should be commended for his actions during this incident. I am thankful it had a safe ending, and that no one was hurt.”

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