Washington County VA

Suspect 'tentatively' identified in Washington County, Va. officer-involved shooting

VIDEO: Suspect 'tentatively'...

UPDATE 11:40 a.m.

The suspect killed in an officer-involved shooting in Washington County, Virginia, has been "tentatively" identified, according to authorities.

According to authorities, officers executed a search warrant in the 22000 block of Golden View Drive around 10 p.m. Sunday. A man ran form the house toward a building a short distance away. The man barricaded himself in a small room in the building. Attempts to negotiate with the man were unsuccessful.

A battering ram was then used along with pepper spray in an attempt to have the suspect leave the room. The suspect then came out with a machete. Deputies ordered the man to drop the machete numerous times, but he continued swinging the weapon at them. Deputies then shot the suspect, killing him.

The suspect has been "tentatively" identified as Robert Avendano.

A woman was arrested at the house. Stephanie Mae Browning, 21, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. She is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon.

Additional warrants on additional suspects are pending.

Police seized about an ounce of meth, an ounce of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and about $2,300 in cash from the house.

“Our office feels that this investigation may be related to an incident that occurred at the Walmart Store on Lee Highway two weeks ago where approximately $54,000, a Mercedes Benz and a quantity of narcotics was seized,” stated Sheriff Fred Newman.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting.

Sheriff Newman told News 5's Thomas Gray that officers were trying to use a taser when the suspect lunged at officers with a machete. Four officers were at the scene, and none of them were hurt. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

One male suspect is dead following an overnight officer-involved shooting, according to Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman.

Newman said that officers were serving a search warrant for drugs at a house located at 22177 Golden View Drive. According to the sheriff, a suspect ran from the house and barricaded himself in another building. Officers attempted to enter but were unable to do so. They then used pepper spray to force the suspect to exit. Newman says the suspect came out wielding a machete, at which point officers shot him. 

A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday.

We will have updates as they become available.


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