Police chase ends without apprehension

Published 6:20 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A police chase that went through Smithfield, Isle of Wight County and potentially part of Suffolk on Tuesday morning started when a suspect brandished a machine gun at someone else, police said.

Smithfield Police Department Deputy Chief Chris Meier said the incident started about 7:55 a.m., when officers were dispatched to the Smithfield Foods packing plant for a report of a man in a blue car who had brandished a machine gun at the caller at the corner of Main and North Church streets.

The suspect then followed the victim to the parking lot of the packing plant, Meier stated. When officers arrived on scene, they saw the suspect vehicle and attempted to stop it.

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“The suspect vehicle fled the scene, leading officers on a pursuit through Smithfield and down Brewer’s Neck to Carrollton Boulevard, where Smithfield officers terminated the pursuit,” Meier stated.

Meier said the Virginia State Police and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office also were involved in the pursuit.

Capt. Tommy Potter of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office confirmed deputies joined the pursuit to assist the Smithfield Police Department. After Smithfield terminated its pursuit, county deputies and state troopers continued.

When it became clear the vehicle was headed toward heavier traffic in Suffolk, “the sheriff’s office supervisor who was monitoring the pursuit terminated the sheriff’s office units,” Potter stated.

That left the Virginia State Police as the last agency pursuing. “The (state police) unit was still pursuing the vehicle into the city of Suffolk,” Potter stated.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya referred questions about how, when and where the pursuit ended back to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.

Potter said it was his understanding the trooper lost sight of the vehicle in traffic.

Meier, from Smithfield Police Department, said his agency has a lead on a suspect, and further information will be released once the suspect’s identity is verified.