Suspect accused of firing at deputy in shootout identified

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RURAL RETREAT, Va. (AP/WDBJ) — Authorities in Virginia have identified a man accused of grabbing a deputy's gun and firing several shots, hitting the deputy's holster.

News outlets report 28-year-old William Cody Grimes was involved in a crash Saturday with a stolen vehicle in Rural Retreat.

The Wythe County Sheriff's Office says Grimes assaulted the responding deputy and the two got into a struggle over the deputy's gun before the shooting.

The suspect was able to remove the gun from the officer, and fired at the deputy several times. The officer was hit in the holster while he was trying to obtain cover behind his police vehicle.

After making it back to his car, the deputy obtained his patrol rifle and began returning shots at Grimes, hitting him several times.

“The guy is shooting [at the deputy] and he ends up hitting him," said Sheriff Keith Dunagan. “I think there’s plenty of evidence there that the officer responded properly, but we’re going to let somebody else take a look at it to get another set of eyes on it.”

The suspect is still in the hospital. The deputy has been treated and released.

Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan says Virginia State Police is investigating.

Grimes is charged with the Attempted Capital Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle.

The sheriff said Rural Retreat is a very quiet part of the county and an event like this is extremely rare for the department.

“Things like this don’t happen often, but when they do, people are justifiably concerned," Dunagan said. “We just need to reassure them that what we did was right.”