ONA — Two deputies with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department were shot multiple times and a man is dead following the execution of a search warrant Wednesday evening that quickly escalated in Ona.
Deputy Jim Johnston was shot twice in his chest, which was protected by a bulletproof vest, and Deputy Jared Cremeans was shot three times — in the hand, shoulder and another location. Both officers were taken to a local hospital and were expected to recover.
Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle said the two deputies were in SWAT gear and heavily protected.
The suspect, Michael Pinkerman, who was believed to be in his late-20s, was killed during the altercation.
Pinkerman’s father, whose name was not available as of press time Wednesday, was also struck by bullets in the hand and taken to a separate local hospital. Zerkle said he is in custody and charges are pending.
Zerkle said deputies were conducting an investigation into some stolen items in the 4000 block of Blue Sulphur Road in Ona earlier in the day but the suspects were not cooperative.
The deputies returned with a search warrant, but the Pinkermans obstructed the door when they attempted to enter. The SWAT team was called in to break down the door, at which time someone in the house fired upon officers.
Zerkle said the two deputies were immediately hit.
Zerkle said the best thing was his deputies are alive and will be able to return home.
“Threats and violence against police officers nationwide continue to escalate,” Zerkle said.
He said it was a close call, but it’s what they train for every day.
“God was with them, and they get to go [home] another day,” Zerkle said. “Keep our deputies in your thoughts and prayers.”
Zerkle said the investigation is ongoing and more information will be released in the coming days.