DINGESS — Troopers fatally shot a Mingo County man after he “raised [a] handgun in a threatening manner toward them,” according to a release from West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.
Troopers were investigating a single-vehicle traffic accident involving Randy Matheny, 31, of Dingess, when the shooting occurred Sunday night.
State police Matheny say fired a gun into the air at the scene of the accident on Moses Fork Road and then fled before troopers arrived.
The vehicle had two other occupants at the time, Matheny’s wife and child.
A family member gave Matheny and his child a ride to their residence, and his wife a ride to Logan Regional Hospital.
Troopers responded to Matheny’s home and found the front door open and a shotgun and ammunition on the porch.
Matheny was standing in the living room just beyond the open door holding a handgun, police said.
The troopers ordered Matheny to drop the handgun but he refused, according to the release.
State police said three troopers discharged their weapons in response to an immediate threat to officer safety.
The child was found unharmed with family members a few hours later.
Monday afternoon, Baylous posted links on the state police official Twitter and Facebook accounts to a PoliceOne.com article on why “shooting to wound,” or aiming for a limb, is not a common police practice.
Baylous said the post was in response to comments on the state police Facebook page Monday, as well as similar questions officers encounter on a routine basis.
He said it was not meant to justify any particular incident, but meant to provide a “law enforcement perspective” on the issue.
“I really wasn’t putting this out there for the media to pick up a story on it,” he said. “It’s not different than sharing any kind of report on social media.”
— Staff and wire reports