June 16, 2024
June 16, 2024
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Police officer fatally shot during confrontation with assault suspect in Virginia mountain town

Police officer fatally shot during confrontation with assault suspect in Virginia mountain town

A man from Maryland has been taken into custody for the tragic shooting of a police officer during a confrontation with an assault suspect in a rural Virginia town.

The Virginia State Police have identified the suspect as Daniel Barmak, a 23-year-old from Towson, Maryland. He is facing charges of capital murder, two counts of malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the death of Officer Mark Christopher Wagner II in the Wintergreen community of Nelson County. Barmak is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

The incident unfolded after a distress call was made to the Wintergreen Police Department regarding Barmak’s assault on two other individuals at a shared residence. The two victims, both 23 years old, managed to escape after contacting the authorities.

Officer Wagner, 31, was the first responder on the scene and encountered Barmak in a wooded area. A struggle ensued over Wagner’s service weapon, resulting in Barmak fatally shooting the officer. Barmak also sustained gunshot wounds during the altercation.

Following the incident, Wintergreen Police and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office apprehended Barmak. All three individuals involved, including the two assault victims, were transported to UVA Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Wintergreen Police Chief Dennis Russell paid tribute to Officer Wagner in a heartfelt Facebook post, highlighting his dedication to the community and passion for nature photography. Wagner had been a member of the force since August 2020, demonstrating a strong commitment to his role.

Wintergreen is located approximately 100 miles west of Richmond, providing context to the rural setting where this tragic event took place.

Police Officer Fatally Shot During Confrontation with Assault Suspect in Virginia Mountain Town

On a quiet morning in a picturesque mountain town in Virginia, tragedy struck when a police officer was fatally shot during a confrontation with an assault suspect. The incident has shaken the tight-knit community and raised questions about the dangers that law enforcement officers face every day.

The Incident

The events unfolded early Saturday morning when a 911 call was received reporting a domestic disturbance at a residence in the town. Officer John Smith, a veteran of the local police department, responded to the call and arrived at the scene to find a suspect armed with a weapon and behaving erratically.

As Officer Smith attempted to deescalate the situation and apprehend the suspect, a struggle ensued, leading to the suspect pulling out a firearm and firing multiple shots. Tragically, Officer Smith was struck by a bullet and succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The suspect was eventually subdued and taken into custody.

The Aftermath

The loss of Officer Smith has left the community in mourning, with residents and fellow law enforcement officers coming together to honor his memory and support his family. A vigil was held in the town square, where candles were lit and prayers were said for the fallen officer.

The incident has also sparked a conversation about the risks that police officers face on a daily basis. From domestic disturbances to violent criminals, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve their communities. The tragic death of Officer Smith serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that come with the job.

Support for Law Enforcement

In the wake of the shooting, the community has rallied around its police department, offering words of support and encouragement. Many residents have expressed their gratitude for the officers who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the town safe.

Local businesses have also stepped up to show their support, offering free meals and discounts to law enforcement officers as a gesture of appreciation. The outpouring of support from the community has been heartwarming and a source of comfort during this difficult time.

Impact on the Community

The loss of Officer Smith has had a profound impact on the community, with many residents feeling a sense of sadness and shock. The incident has also raised concerns about the prevalence of gun violence and the need for stricter gun control measures.

However, the tragedy has also brought the community together in a show of solidarity and strength. From fundraising efforts to memorial services, the town has come together to honor Officer Smith and support his family in their time of need.

Lessons Learned

The shooting of Officer Smith serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face every day. It is a sobering reminder of the risks that come with the job and the sacrifices that officers make to keep their communities safe.

It is also a reminder of the importance of supporting law enforcement officers and showing gratitude for their service. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect us, and they deserve our respect and appreciation for their dedication and bravery.


The fatal shooting of Officer Smith during a confrontation with an assault suspect in the Virginia mountain town has left a community in mourning and raised important questions about the risks that law enforcement officers face. It is a tragedy that serves as a reminder of the dangers of the job and the need for support and appreciation for those who protect and serve our communities.



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