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FBI investigating Weyers Cave home of truck driver killed in New York police shootout

(WHSV)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 2:41 PM EDT
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Police and FBI agents were in Weyers Cave on Friday afternoon to search the property of a Shenandoah Valley man who was shot and killed after leading New York police on a high-speed chase this week.

Around 2 p.m. Friday, at least six law enforcement vehicles and a Virginia State Police mobile headquarters were parked near a home along Fadley Rd. in Weyers Cave.

Property records show that the home officers are investigating was owned by Joshua Blessed, the man

.

According to the FBI's Richmond Field Office, Virginia State Police and FBI agents were jointly investigating Blessed's property to "conduct lawful searches" following his attempted attacks on law enforcement in New York earlier this week.

A spokesperson for the FBI told WHSV that they could not confirm more since it's an active investigation, including if officers have located anything, but said "although alarming for community members, there is no threat or further concern for their safety."

Around 8:37 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, according to Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office in New York, Blessed was driving a tractor trailer along Interstate 390 in New York when a deputy tried to pull him over for speeding and he refused to comply, instead launching a high speed pursuit that turned violent, with Blessed allegedly opening fire on pursuing officers.

The truck Blessed was driving was owned by Yurman Express LLC, a Harrisonburg company. According to the owner of Yurman Express, the truck was theirs under a lease and Blessed had been contracted as a driver to pick up dairy products in Batavia, NY.

Blessed, formerly known as Sergia Jourev before a name change not long after his family moved to Virginia in 2005, has been tied by law enforcement to a number of YouTube videos and social media posts that were explicitly anti-law enforcement.

, our ABC affiliate in New York, Blessed was blocked from Facebook twice for posts calling people "liars" and "false accusers" and telling them to repent before they die. Facebook says the posts violated harassment and bullying policies.

He was also believed to be responsible for a number of YouTube videos for a channel he called "Prophecy of Yahweh." Earlier this year, his Facebook page featured an extensive post predicting civil war in America, including a "Russian invasion on the east and China on the west" and called for people to prepare for guerrilla warfare.

"What was his last 24 hours? What led to such an extreme encounter with police?" said Sheriff Dougherty in a press conference. "Some answers, we might never have."

After refusing to comply with the deputy pulling him over Wednesday night, police say Blessed tried to ram oncoming vehicles, including law enforcement, and fired shots at law enforcement during the chase, as well as making multiple U-turns in his rig to try and throw off the pursuing vehicles.

Blessed "showed no regard for human life," according to Dougherty, throughout the pursuit.

Eventually, Blessed was stopped near the town of Geneseo, where police fired back at Blessed, striking him.

Just before 10 p.m., Blessed was taken into custody with gunshot wounds and died shortly afterward from his injuries.

No law enforcement or civilians were injured during the course of the chase.

Investigation into the incident and what led to it is still ongoing.

This is a developing situation. Stay with WHSV for updates.

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