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Trooper killed executing search warrant

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

CUMBERLAND COUNTY — A Virginia State Police (VSP) trooper who graduated from Radford University was killed Monday night along with the man who shot him.

According to VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller, Trooper Lucas B. Dowell, 28, was assisting members of Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with the execution of a residential search warrant when he was shot around 10 p.m. She says a male inside the residence, north of Farmville, shot him.

Members of the VSP Tactical Team, of which Dowell was a member, returned fire at the shooting suspect, fatally wounding him. The trooper was transported to a Farmville hospital, where he later died.

Dowell was the 66th state trooper killed in the line of duty. He was a native of Chilhowie and graduate of Chilhowie High School. He received a criminal justice degree from Radford University May 11, 2013, according to Caitlyn Scaggs, RU’s associate vice president of University Relations.

Scaggs added, “Trooper Lucas Dowell embodied the true spirit of a Highlander during his service to the Commonwealth and his time on Radford’s campus. Within the criminal justice program, he made an impact on his professors and fellow students, and did the same after graduation through his service as a Virginia State Trooper. Our Highlander family is deeply saddened by his death in the line of duty and will be forever thankful for his contributions to our community both on campus and beyond. Our sympathies are extended to Lucas’ family, loved ones, Virginia State Police colleagues and all impacted by his passing.”

Dowell went on to graduate from VSP’s 122nd Basic Session in November 2014. He was assigned to the Appomattox Division and patrol Area 20, which includes Lynchburg City and the counties of Amherst and Campbell. He joined the tactical team in 2015, Geller said.

The Appomattox Field Office of VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident. Two troopers who fired their weapons during the altercation are on administrative leave during the investigation, in accordance with department policy.

Police identified the suspect in Dowell’s shooting as 44-year-old Corey Johnson of Cumberland County. His body was transported to the Richmond Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.

Geller said Johnson was the only person inside the residence, which was being searched as part of a narcotics investigation.

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