Suspect who died in Botetourt County officer-involved shooting identified

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 1:41 PM EDT
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According to Virginia State Police, the suspect has been identified as Robert Harman Sword, 46, of Orlando, FL.

The case remains open. The Commonwealth's Attorney will be receiving the findings for review.


The suspect wanted in a Botetourt County officer-involved shooting has died.

After a call concerning a suspicious vehicle, State Police found an individual campsite a short distance away from the 2800 block of North Creek Road in Buchanan Friday.

Virginia State Police said in a statement the man, who has not been identified, was treated at the scene. His body has been taken to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke.

An investigation by VSP is ongoing.


The Botetourt County Sheriff's Office has caught a male accused of exchanging gunfire with a sheriff's deputy Friday.

Officials received a call at 10:12 a.m. about a suspicious person. Deputies found a crashed vehicle in a ditch near the search area and a beach-type of cruising cart along the road.

After the first deputy had already located the suspect, a backup deputy arrived. It was at this time the suspect showed a gun, resulting in an exchange of shots between him and one of the deputies. Sheriff Matt Ward confirms the deputy is not hurt.

The suspect was injured and is being treated by EMS crews. The deputy who located him told the sheriff the suspect appeared ill when the first encounter occurred.

A search in the Arcadia area of the county led to the capture.

State police responded along with US Marshals, Botetourt deputies, fire and EMS crews, as well as animal control. A K-9 unit was also deployed.

The deputy who exchanged the gunfire has been put on administrative leave per department protocol, and not because of any wrongdoing, according to the Botetourt County Sheriff.

Stay with WDBJ7 for updates on this developing story.

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