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Stanley police officer killed in traffic stop; officers fatally shoot driver
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Stanley police officer killed in traffic stop; officers fatally shoot driver

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A police officer was shot and killed Friday afternoon while attempting a traffic stop in the town of Stanley in the Shenandoah Valley’s Page County, Virginia State Police say.

Then Page sheriff’s deputies fatally shot the shooter after he made a threatening move, State Police said.

The Culpeper Field Office of the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the line-of-duty shooting of Officer Dominic “Nick” J. Winum, 48, and the subsequent shooting of Stanley resident Dakota G. Richards, 29.

“It was with heavy hearts this evening that we must inform our community of the line of duty death of one of our own: Officer Dominic ‘Nick’ J. Winum,” Stanley Police Chief Ryan Dean said in a statement Friday night. “Since joining our department in 2016, he proudly served and protected the Stanley community. I know the Stanley and Page County community are keeping Nick and his family in their prayers during this most difficult and tragic time.”

Winum was shot at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, outside a residence in the 600 block of Judy Lane in the town of Stanley, state police reported late Friday night. That part of Page County adjoins Madison County on the other side of the Blue Ridge.

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Winum had stopped Richards’ vehicle, but before he could exit his patrol car, the driver got out of his vehicle and opened fire, Virginia State Police said. The officer died from his injuries at the scene.

Richards fled into nearby woods on foot, State Police Public Relations Director Corinne Geller said in a statement.

To track Richards, Stanley Luray police officers, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police immediately responded.

Richards was later found hiding in a barn in the 700 block of Marksville Road. There, he made a threatening movement and was shot by Page deputies, Geller said.

Richards died of his injuries. His remains will be transported to the Office of Medical Examiner, state police said. No additional officers were injured.

The incident is under investigation, state police said.

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