VSP investigating officer-involved fatal shooting in Rockingham County

VSP investigating officer-involved fatal shooting in Rockingham County
Virginia State Police (FILE) (Source: WVIR)

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia State Police are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in Rockingham County.

Police say it started with a pursuit around 10:20 p.m. Monday, March 30, after reports of a box truck driver with a weapon, possibly shooting into a parked car. At one point the truck’s driver rammed a police cruiser on Route 11 in Harrisonburg. The trooper inside was OK.

State police also say the driver discarded a firearm along the way. The chase ended when the truck got stuck in a yard on Rawley Pike in Rockingham County.

Police say after an hour of negotiations with the driver, 29-year-old John H. Ross II, pulled out a rifle and pointed it at them. They then fired, killing Ross.

A woman in the truck, 31-year-old Wendi K. Wolters, was treated for minor injuries. She is charged with obstruction/resist without force.

04/01/20 Updated Release from Virginia State Police:

ROCKINGHAM, Va. - At the request of the Harrisonburg Police Chief and Rockingham County Sheriff, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Culpeper Field Office is investigating an early morning shooting in Rockingham County that involved all three law enforcement agencies.

At approximately 10:22 p.m. on March 30, 2020, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Center received a 911 call about the driver of a truck brandishing a weapon and possibly firing into a parked vehicle at the 3600 block of N. Valley Pike in the county. The Emergency Center issued a "Be on the Look Out" for the suspect vehicle, which was located shortly before 11 p.m. by an officer with the Harrisonburg Police Department. The officer attempted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle, the driver of the suspect vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The Rockingham Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police responded to assist with the pursuit.

During the course of the pursuit, the suspect rammed a state police vehicle and the suspect driver discarded a firearm. The trooper was not injured. The firearm was recovered by police along Rawley Pike and Cooks Creek Road.

The pursuit ended at approximately 11:18 p.m. when the suspect vehicle pulled into a yard in the 7700 block of Rawley Pike and got stuck. For the next hour, law enforcement tried to negotiate with the subject to surrender and safely exit his vehicle. He refused and then pulled out a rifle, which he aimed at law enforcement. At that time, personnel from all three agencies fired at the suspect.

The subject, John H. Ross II, 29, of Harrisonburg, Va. died at the scene. Ross' remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy.

A passenger in the box truck, Wendi K. Wolters, 31, of Harrisonburg, Va. was arrested after the shooting for (18.2-460) one count of misdemeanor obstruction/resist without force. Wolters was transported to Sentara RMH Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. Wolters was booked at Rockingham County Jail and held without bond.

No law enforcement were injured in the incident. The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

In accordance with Virginia State Police policy, its personnel involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.