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Missing person search led to stabbing

Missing person search led to stabbing

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A body camera worn by a deputy who was stabbed in a confrontation Saturday that ended when he fatally shot a 16-year-old boy has been collected as evidence by the Virginia State Police, a spokeswoman for the VSP said Monday.

More details emerged Monday about the shooting and stabbing, including that Deputy Robbie Robinson was stabbed multiple times in the face and neck. He remained hospitalized but is improving, Wise County Sheriff Grant Kilgore said.

“He is improving every time I talk to him,” Kilgore told the Bristol Herald Courier.

At around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about a missing 13-year-old girl, according to the VSP and county Sheriff Grant Kilgore. The girl’s family discovered she left her home overnight.

The Sheriff’s Office immediately began working with the family to try to find her. During the course of the search, the department received a report of a missing vehicle — a white 2015 Chevrolet Equinox — from the residence of an acquaintance of the missing girl, police said.

The acquaintance was a 16-year-old boy from Norton, Virginia, according to police. Search efforts continued throughout the day with the assistance of local police departments within the region.

At 2:19 p.m., the Wise County Sheriff’s Office was notified by a local resident that a white Chevrolet Equinox was parked on the side of a road near Roaring Fork. It appeared someone tried to conceal the vehicle with tree branches and limbs, police said.

When a deputy responded, however, the vehicle had already left the location, the VSP said in a news release.

Additional search efforts by Deputy Robinson led him to find the car off Dunbar Road and Pine Branch Road near coal camps called Pardee and Dunbar, according to police. Robinson confirmed there was a male and female inside the vehicle, police said.

At the deputy’s direction, the 16-year-old boy exited the vehicle, police said. Moments later, an altercation ensued between the male teenager and Robinson that resulted in Robinson’s stabbing, according to Kilgore.

The deputy subsequently shot the teenager, who died at the scene, police said. The identity of the teen who was shot has not been released.

There were no other officers in the immediate area, the sheriff said.

“There were other officers in the same stripped-out areas, very far back in the woods — on a reclaimed strip job. They were in a different section when the incident took place,” said Kilgore, who said he didn’t know whether the 13-year-old girl witnessed the confrontation.

The girl, who remained inside the vehicle, was not injured and has since been returned to her family, Kilgore said.

The sheriff said he wasn’t sure how well the teenagers knew each other.

“There was some information that they were at least acquaintances. But, as far as being in a relationship, I don’t have that information. Based on what I know, they knew each other.”

A knife with a hawkbill blade was recovered at the scene, police said.

Once the investigation is completed by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Wytheville Field Office, the findings will be turned over to Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, the VSP said in the release.

The 16-year-old’s body was transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for autopsy.

Robinson has served with the Sheriff’s Office for more than two years and previously served as an officer with the town of Big Stone Gap, Kilgore said.

“We’ve gotten a lot of community support for both families,” Kilgore said. “And the officer invariably has to live with the fact that he took the life of a juvenile. Unfortunately, it was necessary.”

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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