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Subject of Scott County manhunt shot and killed

Rain Smith • Updated May 1, 2019 at 9:53 PM

GATE CITY — A man transporting meth pointed a rifle at a deputy during a Wednesday morning traffic stop in Scott County, according to police, triggering an extensive manhunt and his eventual death when he fired on approaching officers.

Scott County Sheriff Chris Holder reported that Timothy Manuel, 28, Bristol, Va., was ultimately found hiding behind a bush on Canoe Trail Drive.

“He presented a gun and they (police) gave him commands, ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down,’ ” Holder told the Times News. “He fired at the deputies and they returned fire.”

The daylong incident began with a suspected DUI traffic stop. Holder said that in the Hiltons community, a deputy was nearly struck head-on by an erratic driver, then followed the vehicle.

The driver, later identified as Manuel, allegedly came to an abrupt stop on Roberts Creek Road. Holder said Manuel threw his door open, jumped out, then reached back into the vehicle to retrieve a rifle. Those aggressive actions reportedly spurred the deputy to fire his service weapon, with Manuel then running into an adjacent field.

According to Holder, Manuel knelt by a tree and aimed at the officer. When the deputy took cover behind his squad car, Manuel fled into the woods.

Police from neighboring jurisdictions joined in the manhunt for Manuel. A Virginia State Police helicopter also canvassed the area from above.

A search of Manuel’s abandoned vehicle reportedly uncovered more than a pound of meth and thousands of dollars in cash.

For several hours, officers continued to search the area surrounding where Manuel was last spotted. Holder said that at about 5:40 p.m., a resident of nearby Canoe Trail Drive alerted deputies on his property and directed them toward a man he had spotted behind a bush.

As officers approached, Manuel reportedly ignored police commands and fired in their direction, spurring the fatal return fire of law enforcement.

Several agencies assisted in the manhunt, including the Russell and Washington County sheriff’s offices and Bristol Virginia Police Department. Holder confirmed that the two officers who fatally shot Manuel are Scott County deputies.

As is protocol in officer-involved shootings, the incident will be reviewed by the VSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“I hate that it happened. It’s a tragedy,” commented Holder. “But my deputies and the other law enforcement are heroes. They’re heroes because they put their life on the line and put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community.”

Across the state line in Tennessee, records show Manuel is a felon who was convicted of robbery in Baltimore. He was also previously housed at the Sullivan County jail on multiple charges, including reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and possession of prohibited weapons.

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Previous story:

UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office reports that the man who allegedly pointed a rifle at a deputy and spurred a manhunt has been shot and killed.

Details aren’t yet available, but all police personnel are reportedly unharmed.

Check back with TimesNews.net for details as they become available.

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Previous story:

GATE CITY — A Wednesday morning traffic stop in Scott County escalated when the driver allegedly pointed a rifle at a deputy, was fired upon by police, then ran into the adjacent woods, launching a manhunt.

As of Wednesday evening, the suspect, Timothy Manuel, 28, of Bristol, Va., had yet to be located. For several hours, police from multiple jurisdictions searched for Manuel, focusing along Roberts Creek Road in the Hiltons community.

According to Scott County Sheriff Chris Holder, one of his officers stopped a motorist on suspicion of DUI. The driver, later identified as Manuel, reportedly exited his vehicle armed with what appeared to be a rifle, spurring the deputy to open fire.

Holder reports that Manuel ran to a nearby field, kneeled by a tree and aimed at the officer. When the deputy took cover behind his squad car, Manuel fled into the woods. Extensive searches to locate him were not successful. 

In the vehicle Manuel abandoned, police allegedly found a large stash of meth valued at thousands of dollars. Warrants in Wednesday’s incident had yet to be obtained, but Holder says Manuel faces multiple charges.

Anyone with information on Manuel’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or (276) 386-9111. He is considered to be armed and dangerous. Tips can also be submitted to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office by dialing (276) 690-4040.

Across the state line in Tennessee, records show Manuel is a felon who was convicted of robbery in Baltimore. He was also previously housed at the Sullivan County jail on multiple charges, including reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and possession of prohibited weapons.

Previous story:

GATE CITY — A Wednesday morning pursuit in Scott County escalated to a deputy being shot at by a suspect with a rifle, according to police.

As of 9:15 a.m., police were searching for the suspect and had cordoned off an area along Roberts Creek Road in the Hiltons community. That’s where the suspect bailed from his vehicle while being chased by police, then allegedly fired a rifle at an officer.

Scott County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Pete Chambers reports that a helicopter was going to be used to search for the gunman. Details on what spurred the incident and if there are any injuries were not immediately available.

Check back with TimesNews.net for more information as it is released. 

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