Police identify man who died after his own gun discharged in struggle with troopers in VB

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — State Police say a man died after he was shot with his own gun during a struggle with troopers following a police pursuit late Wednesday.

Police identified the man Thursday night as Coleman Lamar Sample, 23, of Virginia Beach.

According to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya, around 10:23 p.m. Wednesday a state trooper tried to stop a 2019 Lexus sedan for reckless driving as it was heading westbound on I-264 near Newtown Road. The trooper turned on their emergency lights to make the traffic stop.

The driver of the vehicle didn’t stop and a police pursuit ensued.

During the pursuit, the vehicle accelerated up to 92 mph in a 55 mph zone. The vehicle took the exit for Military Highway, looped around and got onto I-64, then got off at exit 286A Indian River Road and drove into the parking lot of Banbury Lake Village Apartments. There, they struck a parked car.

Police say Sample ran from the crash scene but was caught by troopers after a brief foot chase.

“I looked out my window and I saw a cop and a guy tussling,” said Josiah Sharp, who lives in the building next to the parking lot where the incident unfolded.

According to police, as troopers attempted to take Sample into custody, he pulled a gun out and started firing. During the struggle, one of the bullets from his gun hit him. Troopers immediately began first aid but were unable to save the man’s life.

“I ran down the steps I came outside and the cops have the guy pinned up against the car and he was bleeding everywhere,” Sharp said.

James Daniels lives in the apartments next door, but had a good vantage point from his fourth floor balcony.

“(The police) were giving him commands and all of a sudden those two shots – the flare from the shots, I saw two of them – and that’s when I ducked back in and I said, wow!”

Police say that neither of the two troopers involved ever has time to draw their own firearms, and neither was injured in the incident. They would not comment on exactly how many shots the man fired, where on his body he was shot, or what his motive might be for fleeing police in the first place.

The Sample’s body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, police said.

Virginia State Police are still investigation and are using the troopers’ in-car camera video and audio, witness statements, and the medical examiner’s investigation.

State troopers are not equipped with body cameras.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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