CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A man shot Sunday by police in Jefferson County might have been trying to commit "suicide by cop," the West Virginia State Police said.
Steven Wayne Taylor, 53, of Virginia Beach, Va., repeatedly threatened to kill himself or police while holed up in a home near Charles Town, said Capt. Rob Blair of the State Police detachment in Jefferson County.
Jefferson County sheriff's deputies and State Police troopers thought Taylor had a gun, but found instead that he had a "black metallic object" he said was a gun," Blair said.
Taylor was shot by troopers and a Jefferson County deputy following an almost three-hour standoff after breaking into a home, police said. Blair said Taylor is recovering from his wounds at a local hospital.
Authorities have since obtained arrest warrants on charges of assaulting police officers, making terroristic threats and daytime burglary. A charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm was withdrawn after police discovered that Taylor did not have a gun.
"The troopers and deputy in this incident tried for several hours to persuade the suspect to surrender and address his issues in a responsible and peaceful manner," Blair said. "The suspect's actions are consistent with a 'suicide-by-cop' attempt.
"In this instance, the suspect made every attempt to convince witnesses and police officers that he was armed and intended to kill," Blair said. "Based upon all information gathered thus far in this investigation, the officers involved acted professionally and within established guidelines."
Blair said three state troopers and one sheriff's deputy involved in the shooting were cleared to return to duty after an internal investigation into the incident. Such investigations are routine when an officer fires a weapon in the line of duty.