CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the wake of the shootings of two troopers this week, the West Virginia State Police might re-examine its arrest procedures, a spokesman said Thursday.
The man who shot the officers -- one fatally -- was already handcuffed and in the back of their cruiser when the shootings occurred.
"Our policy and procedure manual is a fluid document," State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said. "We're constantly looking at it and adjusting it."
On Tuesday, Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey and Trooper Eric Michael Workman, both of the Clay County detachment, were shot after arresting Luke Silas Baber, 22, of Oak Hill, during what they thought was a routine traffic stop at the park and ride at the Wallback exit of Interstate 79.
Bailey was killed; Workman remained in critical condition at CAMC General Hospital Thursday evening.
Baber -- who also wounded tow truck driver William Frank Massey and Roane County Sheriff's Deputy John Westfall before being killed -- was handcuffed, with his hands in front of him, and put into the back seat of the patrol car, State Police officials said Wednesday.
Baber was able to retrieve a gun he had hidden in the groin area of his pants, and shot both troopers in the back of the head from the back seat of the cruiser, State Police officials said. At a news conference Wednesday, State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers said the troopers had patted Baber down, but apparently missed the handgun.
State Police cruisers typically don't have a wire mesh screen or glass barrier between the front and back seats of the car, Baylous said. Bailey and Workman's cruiser was not equipped with such a barrier, he said.
Whether barriers should be added to the cruisers is one of several things the State Police might review in the wake of the shooting.
"In any critical incident that we have, we have an after-action review and decide what changes can be made, if any, to enhance the safety of the officers and the public," Baylous said. "We have a planning and research section, and they're constantly trying to enhance officer safety and looking at court cases to make changes to the [policy] documents."
He said the State Police also might make changes to its arrest and handcuffing policies because of the incident.