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2 Charged in Shooting of Virginia State Trooper During Chase

Posted: Updated: Oct 16, 2016 08:05 PM
sent from VSP of crime scene sent from VSP of crime scene

Virginia State Police Press Release:

LOUISA COUNTY- Two individuals are in Virginia State Police custody and have been charged following a pursuit on Interstate 64 in Louisa County Saturday afternoon. 

Shortly before 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 15), Virginia State Police Trooper S.A. Gaultney initiated a traffic stop on a Honda Civic traveling west on Interstate 64 near the 160 mile marker in Louisa County. The Honda came through the Trooper’s radar at 84 mph where the posted speed limit is 70 mph. 

When the Honda refused to stop and sped away in excess of 100 mph, a pursuit was initiated. Moments into the pursuit, the Honda’s male passenger began shooting at the trooper in pursuit. The trooper’s Ford Taurus was struck twice – once in the grill and once in passenger side mirror.  Fortunately Trooper Gaultney was not struck by the bullets nor injured.

The suspect vehicle then took the Shannon Hill Exit 148. When she tried to turn right, the driver lost control, ran off the road and crashed into several trees. Trooper Gaultney apprehended the female driver and male passenger without further incident. Both suspects were transported to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville for treatment of non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash. 

The trooper never fired his weapon during the course of the shooting. A firearm was recovered from the Honda.

Mistri Griffith, 33 of Kingsport, Tennessee the driver of the Honda has been charged with reckless driving (speed) and possession of a stolen vehicle. The passenger, Paul Zamorano, 32 of Kingsport Tennessee has been charged with shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, reckless handling of a firearm, maliciously shoot at occupied law enforcement vehicle, attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, felony elude, possession of a stolen vehicle and abduction. (7 felony charges)

The incident remains under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office. State police were assisted in the pursuit by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and Goochland County Sheriff’s Office.