Winchester Police officer exchanges fire with armed suspect

UPDATE 7/10: The findings of the investigation were forwarded to the City of Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney Office for review. Upon review, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office released the following statement concerning the incident: “The Common Law has long recognized the justifiable use of force, even deadly force, by law enforcement, in the defense of themselves or others. Such was the case in the early morning hours of July 2, 2018, when Officer A. Warren discharged her weapon and wounded Scott Bradley Garthwaite.” After a thorough analysis of the evidence of the investigation conducted by the State Police, the Commonwealth Attorney, Marc Abrams, finds Officer Warren, and all other officers involved, to be without fault in the incident. Because there are pending charges against Mr. Garthwaite, a fuller discussion of the serious incident will have to wait until the prosecution of Mr. Garthwaite.


UPDATE: Virginia State Police have identified the suspect as Scott Bradley Garthwaite, age 48, of Winchester.

Upon his release from the Winchester Medical Center, he was taken into custody and charged with two felonies - attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer (18.2-31) and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony (18.2-53.1). He is currently being held without bond.

On July 2, 2018, Winchester Police (WPD) officers responded to a call in the 400 block of North Loudoun Street at approximately 4:48 a.m. for a report of a suicidal subject.

Officers attempted to make contact with the subject and asked him to come out of the residence. After refusing to come outside, the subject fired shots at the officers. One officer returned fire, striking the suspect. The suspect was transported to the Winchester Medical Center and is being treated for his injuries. No officers were injured during the exchange.

At the request of the City of Winchester Police Department, the incident is being investigated by the Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Culpeper Field Office. The investigation remains ongoing at this time. Please contact the VSP public information officer at 540-829-7771 for further information.