CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A State Police trooper who fatally shot a man in Mercer County on Saturday is still under investigation for a fatal shooting in January.
Just before midnight Saturday, a Bluefield police officer pulled over a vehicle with four people inside. The officer put one man in handcuffs and placed him inside the police cruiser, said Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash.
Ash identified the officer as Patrolman J.W. Murray. He is unsure why Murray arrested the man but said the man provided a false name and had no identification.
While in the cruiser, the man managed to bring his handcuffed hands to the front and he jumped into the driver's seat and took off, Ash said.
Another Bluefield patrolman on scene called for backup, and he and Murray initiated a pursuit.
The man was heading east on U.S 460 when he spotted a State Police trooper responding to the call and attempted to make a hard turn onto a side road before driving into a ditch, Ash said.
It's unclear if the man slid into the ditch or if the trooper struck the rear of the stolen cruiser, he said. Ash confirmed the trooper is J.R. Coburn of the Welch detachment.
Murray and Coburn chased the man up a hillside and attempted to subdue him.
The man then grabbed Murray's gun and refused to relinquish it after being ordered to do so, said State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous in a news release.
Coburn then fatally shot the man, Ash said.