UPDATE: Officer identified in Danville shooting

Published: Jan. 7, 2018 at 8:23 AM EST
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The Danville Police Department has released the name of the officer involved in a shooting that occurred in the 1000 block of Halifax Road on Jan. 7 in Danville.

Officer Justin P. Nelson has been identified and has worked with multiple agencies in his 12 years of law enforcement service to Pittsylvania County.


The male subject involved in this shooting has been identified as Richard R. Towler, 54, of Danville.

A female subject was murdered inside of the home during the incident, according to State Police. She has been identified as Crystal Lynn Averett, 38, of Danville.


An investigation is underway after an officer-involved shooting left a man dead in Danville early Sunday morning.

Police say they responded to the 1000-block of Halifax Road around 12:45 a.m. for a report of shots fired. When they arrived, officers knocked on a door to investigate, and shots were fired from inside the house toward responding officers.

Officers say they attempted to negotiate a peaceful surrender, and that’s when a man exited the house, shooting at officers. One of the officers then returned fire. That man was shot and pronounced dead on the scene.

Danville Police went inside the home and found a deceased woman.

No officers were hurt. Danville Police requested Virginia State Police to investigate this officer-involved shooting, as well as the homicide of the woman.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative assignment, in accordance of the department policy.