Search of Quick shooting scene complete
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County sheriff's deputies have finished searching a house in Quick where a man died from deputy gunfire following a domestic disturbance call Saturday.
Additionally, Cpl. B.D. Humphreys said, medical examiners completed an autopsy of Lawrence Edward "Pete" Vaughan on Monday.
Humphreys said Vaughan, 48, fired a handgun at two deputies approaching the front porch of 6154 Quick Road in Quick. The deputies returned fire, killing him. A neighbor had called 911 and said Vaughan was assaulting his mother at that house at about 5 p.m.
Bullet fragments and physical evidence were sent to a West Virginia State Police lab for analysis, Humphreys stated Tuesday in a news release.
The deputies involved were placed on administrative leave, in accordance with agency policy. The Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is up to date on the investigation, he said.
Humphreys said deputies had misspelled Vaughan's name in earlier news releases.
Vaughan's shooting death is the fourth by West Virginia law enforcement in less than a week. A spokesman for the State Police said he blamed a growing aggression and lack of respect for authority figures.
No one is eager to be involved in what he called "a critical incident," Sgt. Michael Baylous told WSAZ-TV. However, he said, officers must make snap decisions about threats they face based on their training.
On Jan. 8, Lewisburg police killed 44-year-old Jimmy L. Hamlin Jr. of Kathleen, Ga., after he reportedly threatened them with a rifle. Police said Hamlin had been pulled over after a domestic violence incident was reported and that he refused to comply with officers' commands.
Two days later, State Police troopers killed 37-year-old John Edward Dempsey of Logan after he reportedly led them on a chase in a vehicle he'd carjacked. Authorities say Dempsey was suspected of killing two men during break-ins at their homes.
On Saturday, police officers killed two men in separate incidents, including Vaughan. The second shooting that day came when Mercer County deputies shot 31-year-old Jason Dillon late Saturday in a standoff.
After Dillon allegedly tried to destroy a house near Montcalm with a chain saw, police said he brandished a club-type weapon and refused commands to drop it.
Last year, Baylous said, there were 32 reported cases of officers threatened with a gun. In the first few weeks of 2013, there already have been three.
He said he blames the attitude of "a whole generation of kids" on their poor upbringing.
"Morals weren't clearly defined for them," Baylous said. "As a result of that and other contributing factors, we're reaping what we've sown."