UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Virginia State Police confirmed that a wanted man is dead after reportedly shooting himself following a police pursuit down I-81 Monday afternoon.
According to authorities, at approximately 1:22 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, troopers began assisting the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office with an ongoing pursuit of a man wanted in Pennsylvania. The man was believed to be armed and dangerous, officials say.
Police say the pursuit continued on I-81 South through Roanoke County and into Montgomery County. Near mile marker 119, troopers were able to contain the vehicle and bring it to a stop.
As troopers approached the vehicle, the male driver reportedly fired a revolver while seated inside the vehicle.
Authorities reached the man inside the vehicle and began rescue efforts; however, he died from what they say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene.
His remains will be taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for an autopsy and identification.
According to Virginia State Police, no troopers fired any of their weapons, no troopers were injured in the shooting, and no other vehicles or individuals were involved in the pursuit or the shooting.
The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating the shooting.
I-81 South has since reopened in this area.
UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: VDOT says that a section of I-81 South has reopened after an incident with police temporarily shut down the road.
According to VDOT, the south left shoulder, left lane and center lane are all still closed. Traffic is using the right lane to get by the incident.
Backups around the incident continue to be significant. VDOT says to anticipate backlogs of at least four miles.
UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: VDOT has set up a detour around an incident on I-81 that has shut down all southbound traffic.
The department says that traffic is being routed off I-81 at exit 132, using the shoulder.
Congestion is significant around this incident. Drivers can expect significant delays if traveling in this area.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – An incident has caused the shutdown of I-81 South in Montgomery County.
According to VDOT, the incident is at mile marker 119.3 due to “security/police activity.”
All southbound lanes are shut down in this area.