Trooper shoots armed man during execution of search warrant - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Trooper shoots armed man during execution of search warrant

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PAGE (WVVA) - A Fayette County man was shot by State Troopers executing a search warrant at his home Thursday after he refused to drop a handgun, according to State Police.

Troopers entered the South Page Bottom Road home of Ronald Reese around 10 p.m. with a search warrant related to a two month drug investigation.  The warrant was for illegal drug distribution.

Upon entering the residence, troopers say they encountered the 55-year-old Reese brandishing a handgun toward them.

When Reese refused to obey commands to drop the weapon, he was shot.

"99.9 percent of the time we don't encounter someone who refuses to drop a gun.  In this case it was one of those small percentages when that happens," says Sgt. G. Duckworth of the State Police.

"In this case [the officer] felt not just a threat to himself, but to the other officers who were entering the house," continues Duckworth. 

The suspect's family begs to differ though.  They say police did not announce their presence upon entering, and they still have not seen a search warrant.

"If he had a gun, and he intended on hurting somebody, don't you think when they shot him once, he would've shot back?  Instead of being shot four times," says Patricia Stover, the suspect's daughter. 

Family member say Reese brought a gun with him to the door because he was afraid he was being robbed.

"We live in an area that is constantly robbed.  There's robberies everyday.  Yesterday, the day that he was shot, there was two robberies," says Stover. 

Both the State Police and the Reese family are prepared to move forward pending Reese's release from the Charleston Area Medical Center.

"He'll be charged as soon as he's released from the hospital," says Duckworth.

"We're just gonna go one day at a time, and make sure he's all right," says Stover. "But he will have a lawyer.  He will have a lawyer over this."

Legal issues aside, this is personal for the Reese family.  They say their father is a good man.  "He's always been a protector, you know, he's dad," says Stover.  "Just like his hat says – being a dad is great and being a gramps is grand.  Everybody likes my dad."

The family says Reese has had surgery on an elbow wound.  He is reported to be in stable condition.   

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