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Man fatally shot after alleged assault

FAIRLAWN — A Pulaski County deputy shot and killed an assault suspect Thursday evening after the suspect allegedly turned the attack on the deputy when confronted.
Virginia State Police Sgt. M.T. Conroy identified the deceased suspect as 70-year-old John Harvey Collins of Lot #10 in a mobile home park on Nicewander Way.
Conroy said the deputy, 34-year-old David Cressell, was not injured in the incident and has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
According to Conroy, one of the alleged assault victims, a teenager, was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He said the other alleged assault victim, a child, did not require hospital treatment.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis has requested State Police investigate the incident since a deputy was involved. It is standard practice for law enforcement agencies to turn over investigations to another agency whenever one of their officers is involved in an incident.
Conroy gave the following account of his understanding of the incident:
Cressell responded alone to an assault call in the Fairlawn mobile home park about 5:20 p.m. Thursday. The report was that two people had been assaulted.
When the deputy exited his car and went to confront Collins, Collins allegedly assaulted the deputy with a knife and a blunt object, which police declined to identify at this point.
Cressell fired two rounds, “fatally striking” Collins.
Conroy said both rounds struck Collins, but he declined to specify where the man was struck. Asked whether Collins was killed instantly, Conroy said that is his understanding. Conroy confirmed the suspect died at the scene.
Authorities also declined to say whether Collins was known to police prior to Thursday’s incident or whether Cressell felt his life was in danger.
“That’s a conclusion,” and State Police will not reach any conclusions in the case until it has been thoroughly investigated, Conroy said.
He estimated the investigation could take up to a month to complete by the time ballistics experts make sure the bullets that killed Collins match those in Cressell’s gun and statements are taken from witnesses.

Anyone having information on the case is asked to call State Police at 800-542-8716.
Conroy said Davis indicated this is the first officer-related fatal shooting in the Sheriff’s Office in Davis’s 11 years in office.
Cressell has been with the local sheriff’s office for about two years, according to Conroy. He said Cressell was a supervisor with the Radford University Police Department before joining the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
Conroy said Cressell has been in law enforcement about eight to nine years.
“Sheriff Davis described him as an excellent officer,” Conroy said.
Asked how long Cressell was on the scene before he allegedly was attacked, Conroy indicated State Police have yet to establish a time line of events. He said dispatch logs will be viewed to determine what time the officer arrived on the scene and other information in order to develop a time line.
The other two alleged assault victims are believed to have been residents of the same mobile home park. However, Conroy said he doesn’t know whether they are related to Collins.

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Man fatally shot after alleged assault

FAIRLAWN — A Pulaski County deputy shot and killed an assault suspect Thursday evening after the suspect allegedly turned the attack on the deputy when confronted.
Virginia State Police Sgt. M.T. Conroy identified the deceased suspect as 70-year-old John Harvey Collins of Lot #10 in a mobile home park on Nicewander Way.
Conroy said the deputy, 34-year-old David Cressell, was not injured in the incident and has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
According to Conroy, one of the alleged assault victims, a teenager, was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He said the other alleged assault victim, a child, did not require hospital treatment.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis has requested State Police investigate the incident since a deputy was involved. It is standard practice for law enforcement agencies to turn over investigations to another agency whenever one of their officers is involved in an incident.
Conroy gave the following account of his understanding of the incident:
Cressell responded alone to an assault call in the Fairlawn mobile home park about 5:20 p.m. Thursday. The report was that two people had been assaulted.
When the deputy exited his car and went to confront Collins, Collins allegedly assaulted the deputy with a knife and a blunt object, which police declined to identify at this point.
Cressell fired two rounds, “fatally striking” Collins.
Conroy said both rounds struck Collins, but he declined to specify where the man was struck. Asked whether Collins was killed instantly, Conroy said that is his understanding. Conroy confirmed the suspect died at the scene.
Authorities also declined to say whether Collins was known to police prior to Thursday’s incident or whether Cressell felt his life was in danger.
“That’s a conclusion,” and State Police will not reach any conclusions in the case until it has been thoroughly investigated, Conroy said.
He estimated the investigation could take up to a month to complete by the time ballistics experts make sure the bullets that killed Collins match those in Cressell’s gun and statements are taken from witnesses.

Anyone having information on the case is asked to call State Police at 800-542-8716.
Conroy said Davis indicated this is the first officer-related fatal shooting in the Sheriff’s Office in Davis’s 11 years in office.
Cressell has been with the local sheriff’s office for about two years, according to Conroy. He said Cressell was a supervisor with the Radford University Police Department before joining the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
Conroy said Cressell has been in law enforcement about eight to nine years.
“Sheriff Davis described him as an excellent officer,” Conroy said.
Asked how long Cressell was on the scene before he allegedly was attacked, Conroy indicated State Police have yet to establish a time line of events. He said dispatch logs will be viewed to determine what time the officer arrived on the scene and other information in order to develop a time line.
The other two alleged assault victims are believed to have been residents of the same mobile home park. However, Conroy said he doesn’t know whether they are related to Collins.

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