Blog

VACP Recommends Shrouding of Badges for Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler

Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler was shot Saturday morning while responding to a call for a welfare check. He succumbed to his injuries later the same day. 

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police recommends that all Virginia law enforcement officers shroud their badges in honor of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler who was shot and killed Saturday, November 13 while responding to a call for a welfare check. Today was his birthday.

Shrouding is recommended through the day of his funeral – Wednesday, November 17.


Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Chandler's family, friends and fellow officers at this exceedingly difficult time.


FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

VISITATION
Wednesday, November 17
3:00 - 7:00 PM
UVA-Wise Convocation Center
437 Stadium Drive
Wise, VA 24293

Directions from Google Maps

FUNERAL
Wednesday, November 17
7:00 PM (following Visitation)
UVA-Wise Convocation Center

Officiant: Pastor Wayne Begley
Speakers: Attorney General-Elect Jason Miyares; Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp; Delegate Terry Kilgore; Town of Big Stone Gap Manager Steve Lawson; Members of the Law Enforcement community.

Bagpipes will be played for the family by First Sergeant Michael Mccanon, Virginia State Police.

GRAVESIDE PROCESSION
Thursday, November 18
Lineup: 9:00 am; Leave: 11:00 am
Bullitt Park in Big Stone Gap
217 East 1st Street North
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

The Graveside processions line up will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Bullitt Park in Big Stone Gap, it will leave at 11:00 a.m. those wishing to pay their respects for the family are asked to assemble on the sidewalks in Big Stone, or anywhere along the procession route to Powell Valley Memorial Gardens. Graveside services will be limited to family and emergency personnel.

OBITUARY
Officer Chandler's Obituary

DONATIONS
Monetary donations can be made to:
Deputy Natasha Chandler
c/o Wise County Sheriff's Office
P.O. Box 916
Wise, VA 24293

A GoFundMe has been set up for Officer Chandler's family as well. 


STATEMENT BY TOWN OF BIG STONE GAP POLICE CHIEF STEPHEN HAMM

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform our community of the line of duty death of Officer Michael D. Chandler. His battle to survive today was truly miraculous. But, he succumbed to his injuries around 7:00 p.m. this evening at the hospital with his family at his side. Mike's loss will be felt by our town and across all of Wise County. Not only did he serve as an officer with the Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, but also as a volunteer with the Big Stone Gap Fire Department.

Please keep his family in your prayers tonight, as this should have been a day to celebrate his 29th birthday - not a day to mourn his passing.

I ask that the media respect the family's wishes to not contact them during this incredibly difficult time. 



VIRGINIA STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE

Suspect in Fatal Big Stone Gap Officer Shooting in Custody 

A Big Stone Gap man is in police custody tonight after an extensive search and investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement following the fatal shooting of a The Town of Big Stone Gap Police Officer early Saturday (Nov. 13). The 33-year-old male was apprehended without incident by the Kingsport Police Department Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division and SWAT Team shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday at the Travel Inn located in the 800 block of Lynn Garden Drive in Kingsport, Tenn.

He is currently being held on probation violations out of South Carolina and Wise County, Va. Charges related to the shooting of the officer are pending at this time. The United States Marshals Service FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation Wise County Sheriff's Office and BRISTOL VIRGINIA POLICE DEPARTMENT assisted w/the apprehension in Kingsport, Tenn.

The investigation remains ongoing at this time, in coordination with the Big Stone Gap Police Department, Wise County Sheriff's Office and Chuck Slemp, Commonwealth's Attorney of Wise County & the City of Norton.

Anyone with information related to this incident, please contact the Virginia State Police at 276-228-3131 or at questions@vsp.virginia.gov

Background:
While on duty, Town of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler stopped out with an individual shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 13) who asked the officer to conduct a welfare check on an individual at a vacant residence in the 2500 block of Orr Street. When Officer Chandler arrived at the residence, he encountered at least one individual. It was during this encounter that Officer Chandler was shot. 

A Wise County Sheriff's Office Deputy was first to arrive on scene. Officer Chandler was found lying unconscious in a ditch along the driveway to the residence. His patrol car and another vehicle were both at the scene, but there was no other person at the scene. 

The officer was initially transported to Norton Community Hospital and then flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment.

FUTURE VACP CONFERENCE DATES:

Winter Conferences
February 7-9, 2024
February 5-7, 2025
February 4-6, 2026
Location for all: Hilton Short Pump (Henrico County)

Annual Conferences
99th Annual
August 25-28, 2024

Location: Hotel Roanoke
 
100th Annual
August 24-27, 2025

Location: Williamsburg Lodge

101st Annual
August 30 – September 2, 2026

Location: Hotel Roanoke