Culpeper sheriff: Man killed by deputies made a 'deadly threat'

Published: Jul. 18, 2017 at 10:14 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2017 at 6:14 PM EDT
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CULPEPER, VA (WWBT) - A Virginia State Police investigation is underway in Culpeper after a shooting involving deputies on Monday evening.

The sheriff's office says deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop around 11 p.m. near the intersection of Sperryville Pike and Griffensburg Road.

The driver, 43-year-old Eric Wesley Clark, "presented a deadly threat to the deputies and they responded by shooting and killing the driver," the sheriff's office posted to Facebook on Tuesday morning.

"I'm so grateful that our deputies are safe. I'm deeply saddened by what they were forced to do and pray for comfort for everyone affected by this incident," said Sheriff Scott Jenkins.

Neighbors say they hope for transparency from the department.

"I would like that, but I understand that it's early," said Sharon Steele, who lives across the street from the intersection.  She says the bright lights woke her up.  "I mean they just collected their evidence. They have to put everything together."

The sheriff's office says Clark refused to stop when deputies tried to pull him over. The pursuit lasted several minutes and two other deputies responded to assist. Clark eventually stopped near Route 522 and Griffinsburg Road.

"During the subsequent encounter between Clark and the Culpeper County Sheriff's Deputies, Clark was shot," according to State Police.

The circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation.

Virginia State Police said a release that just before 10 p.m. on Monday night, "...the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call for a domestic assault at a local residence."  Deputies were told to be on the lookout for Clark.

State Police say a shotgun was recovered at the scene.

The deputies are now on modified duty until the investigation is complete. Their names have not been released.

The sheriff says the deputies involved are now on modified duty until the investigation is complete.

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