CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia State Police trooper and a suspect are dead after a shootout during a drug raid in Cumberland County.
According to a release from VSP, Trooper Lucas B. Dowell was a member of a tactical team that was helping the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with a search warrant at a home on the 1500 block of Cumberland Road, near the Farmville line, shortly before 10 p.m. on Monday. That’s when, police say, a man inside the home began shooting at authorities.
Trooper Dowell was shot and taken to Southside Community Hospital in Farmville, where he died of his injuries.
Two troopers returned fire, killing the male suspect, who was the only individual inside the home at the time of the shooting. State police are still in the process of notifying next of kin.
No other troopers were injured in the shooting. The two troopers who fired their weapons have been put on administrative leave while Virginia State Police investigate the incident.
Trooper Dowell becomes the Department’s 66th line of duty death.
The Chilhowie, Va. native graduated the Virginia State Police’s 122nd Basic Session in November 2014. Since graduation, he was assigned to the Virginia State Police Appomattox Division; his latest assignment was on patrol in Area 20, which encompasses the City of Lynchburg, and Amherst and Campbell counties. He was a member of the Appomattox Division Tactical Team — the equivalent of a SWAT Team. He is survived by his parents and a sister.
“This is an extremely difficult day for the State Police,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We are humbled by Lucas’ selfless sacrifice and grateful for his dedicated service to the Commonwealth. He will forever be remembered by his State Police Family for his great strength of character, tenacity, valor, loyalty and sense of humor.”