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Police officer shot and killed during traffic stop in Virginia

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 2/27/2021 Jessica Schladebeck

A police officer was shot and killed by a driver during a traffic stop before he could get out his vehicle, authorities said.

The deadly shooting unfolded Friday afternoon in the city of Stanley. According to a statement from Virginia State Police, Officer Dominic “Nick” Winum initiated a traffic stop in the moments before he was gunned down by a motorist.

The 48-year-old was dead inside his patrol cruiser when fellow officers arrived on the scene.

a man smiling for the camera: Officer Dominic Winum © Provided by New York Daily News Officer Dominic Winum

Officer Dominic Winum

Police said the suspect fled, but he was eventually found hiding in a barn not far from where the shooting occurred. He was identified as 29-year-old Dakota Richards.

Richards reportedly made a “threatening movement,” prompting officers to open fire. He was pronounce dead on the scene.

Winum had been with Stanley police since 2016. Before that, he was a trooper with Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police “extends its prayers & condolences to the fellow officers & family of #Stanley, #Virginia Police Officer D.J. “Nick” Winum,” the agency said in a tweet.

#RIP His loss is shared by us, too, as Officer Winum graduated the #VSP 112th Basic Session in 2006 & served w/us as a Trooper until 2016.”

It’s not clear what prompted the traffic stop preceding the fatal encounter.

With News Wire Services

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