New details have emerged in what led to a fatal shooting in Giles County over the weekend.
Virginia State Police say what began as a robbery and shooting early Friday morning, ended on a patch of grass, sandwiched between a mobile home and an auto repair shop in Pearisburg on Saturday afternoon.
WDBJ7's Orlando Salinas walked to a nearby home and knocked on a door. A man answered and said he'd seen the entire fatal shooting from start to finish. He agreed to speak, but only if WDBJ7 promised not to identify him.
"I looked out and I saw a truck had parked up over here in this little field and I saw the police all closing in behind it and they were getting out with guns drawn," the witness said.
Police say they were looking for Jonathan Robertson Saturday in connection with the shooting and robbery. They found the 32-year-old man in Pearisburg and were going to arrest him, but say Robertson drove away while shooting at them.
Shot were fired back and forth three different times, police say. A second man in the truck with Robertson, 28-year-old Clifton Clowers of Christiansburg, jumped out shortly after the chase began and was arrested.
The third and final gunfight happened behind Lee's Body Shop in Pearisburg. WDBJ7 saw several bullet holes in a mobile home, at least two cars. Bullets were also lodged inside the walls of the body shop.
The neighbor said he heard as many as 30 gunshots.
"And when I saw the guns drawn I told my wife to get on the floor, which she did and then," the witness said. "She asked me why and I said 'They're getting ready to do shooting, just get down.'"
Robertson was mortally wounded. Police aren't saying how many times he was shot, nor how many rounds officers fired.
Police say Robertson died later at a Roanoke hospital. The neighbor said he heard what sounded like an assault rifle firing in the direction of the suspect's car. The car had come to a stop on the side of the road, at the intersection of Narrows and Thomas Roads.
"Once the firing started, I actually turned away. I didn't want to see it," the witness said.
After the shooting, the neighbor said police were upset about how it ended.
"They were shaken up. They were just like any human being would be. Some of them just seemed to be relieved that it was over," he said.
Three men have now been arrested in connection with Friday's shooting and robbery. All are being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin.
State police release new information about officer-involved shooting in Giles County
Virginia State Police have released more information about the events leading up to an officer-involved shooting Saturday in Giles County.
32-year-old Jonathan Robertson of Narrows was shot and killed during a shootout with law enforcement Saturday afternoon. That incident is still being investigated by a Virginia State Police “Police Shooting Investigative Team.”
The series of events leading up to the officer-involved shooting began with a report of a shooting early Friday morning on College Street in Narrows. Investigators say 18-year-old Luke Robbins was shot during the course of a robbery. Robbins was taken to Carilion Giles Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Investigators obtained three felony warrants for Robertson in connection to the robbery and shooting of Robbins. While preparing to serve those warrants to Robertson law a Giles County Sheriff’s deputy and a Virginia State Police special agent encountered Robertson on Fletchers Mountain Road. Robertson fired at both officers, according to Virginia State Police.
Clifton Clowers, 28, of Christiansburg was a passenger in Robertson’s Chevrolet S10 pickup truck at the time of the Fletchers Mountain Road shooting. Police say he bailed from the truck as the shooting took place.
Clowers was arrested in connection to the Friday robbery and shooting, and charged with one count of robbery and one count of malicious wounding.
Two other men were also arrested in relation to Friday’s incident: 20-year-olds Ian Rhody of Pearisburg, and Kyle Williams of Pembroke. They are charged with robbery, malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Clowers, Rhody, and Williams are being held at the New River Valley Regional Jail.
Investigators found a stolen handgun and a small amount of illegal narcotics at Robertson’s Friendship Road home in Narrows.
UPDATED: We now know the name of the man killed after a shootout with authorities in Giles County.
State Police say Jonathan Robertson was being investigated for a robbery and shooting that took place Friday.
When confronted, Robertson led authorities on a chase, firing shots at them along the way.
Robertson's body was taken to medical examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy.
Here's the entire news release
GILES Giles Co., Va. – The investigation remains ongoing into an officer-involved shooting incident that occurred Saturday evening (Oct. 26) in Giles County. The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office’s Police Shooting Investigative Team is conducting the investigation with the assistance of the Giles County Sheriff’s Office and Town of Pearisburg Police Department.
On Saturday (Oct. 26), a Virginia State Police special agent was assisting the Giles County Sheriff’s Office with an investigation into the robbery and shooting of a Giles County man that had occurred early Friday (Oct. 25) morning. During the course of that investigation, the special agent and a Giles County sheriff’s deputy were traveling along Fletchers Mountain Road when they encountered the main suspect in Friday’s incident, Jonathan V. Robertson, 32, of Narrows, Va.
Robertson had stopped his Chevrolet S-10 pickup across the roadway forcing the law enforcement officers to stop. When the special agent and deputy identified themselves as law enforcement, Robertson displayed a weapon and began shooting at the law enforcement officers. The special agent and deputy returned fire.
Robertson’s passenger, an adult male from Giles County, bailed out of the pickup truck as Robertson fled from the scene. The passenger was not injured and was taken into custody by the Giles County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently being held without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail on charges related to Friday’s robbery and shooting incident.
Robertson continued down Fletchers Mountain Road and crossed over a stinger-spike strip that had been deployed across the road by the sheriff’s office. Despite the flat tires from the spike strip, the pickup truck continued another 75 yards to Narrows Road where there was another exchange of gunfire between Robertson and sheriff’s deputies.
Robertson again fled the scene in his pickup until he ran off the road on Thomas Drive in the Town of Pearisburg. Robertson again fired at deputies and Town of Pearisburg Police, who returned fire.