On New Year’s Day, two West Virginia police officers were shot and two bodies were found in the back of a stolen SUV.
According to the New York Daily News, it was about 4 PM just outside of Lewisburg, West Virginia, when the officers pulled over a white Chevrolet SUV that had been reported stolen. The vehicle was being driven by Eric Campbell, 21, of Indian Acres, Texas. Campbell was wanted in Texas for fleeing charges of assaulting his wife with a firearm in September.
Edward Campbell, 54, the young man’s father, was driving a different vehicle, and when he saw his son had been stopped, he pulled his red pickup truck over in front of the police. The police report says that the elder Campbell got out of his pickup, approached the SUV, and began firing a .38 caliber revolver at the officers.
Lewisburg Police Chief Tim Stover told ABC News that Edward “came back there to where (the Highway Patrol officers) were at, and when they asked him for identification, he pulled the pistol and started shooting.”
The officers were identified as Lieutenant Jeremy Dove and Patrolman Nicholas Sams. Both officers hit, Dove in the chest and superficially on the back of his neck, and Sams in the back and by shrapnel in his forehead. Fortunately, the officers were wearing bulletproof vests and returned fire.
The elder Campbell was shot in the leg and fell to the ground. The younger Campbell ran to his father’s vehicle and sped away. Shortly after, he drove the truck downhill into a ravine and tried to escape into the woods. He was surrounded by responding officers, surrendered, and was apprehended about 90 minutes after the shootout. His face is bruised and swollen in his mug shot.
When police searched the SUV, they found hidden under a mattress the bodies of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora, 62, of Oak Hill, North Carolina. Jerome was a retired chief of the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department, while his wife was a registered nurse.
It appears that the two suspects broke into the couple’s home around 7 AM on Thursday, murdered them, set the house on fire, and then stole their pickup truck.
At a press conference on Friday, Police Chief Stover said, “These two individuals represent the face of evil and have no regard for human life.”
The two suspects are being charged with two counts of attempted murder of police officers, while the investigation into the depths of the Faulkners continues. Eric Campbell is being held on $500,000 bail, while his father remains hospitalized.
The two officers, meanwhile, are in “good but stable condition”, according to a hospital spokesperson. According to Dove’s wife, he called her from the scene, saying “I’ve been shot. I’m fine. I’m going to the hospital in an ambulance.” Carrie Dove told the Associated Press, “That’s the worst call a policeman’s wife can ever dream of.”