GLADE SPRING, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia State Police have identified Travis Fields as the man who died after allegedly firing shots near Washington County Virginia Deputies.
According to VSP, Fields fired a shot and a Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Deputy returned fire. Fields died at the scene.
Field’s sister, Laura Combs, said her brother was able to call her and their mother before he died.
According to Washington County Virginia Sheriff Blake Andis, Fields was wanted on felony charges from Virginia State Police, Russell County and Bristol, Tennessee. Deputies spotted Fields Tuesday night.
Fields is accused of leading deputies on a chase before ultimately crashing into the guardrail leaving Lee Highway to Interstate 81.
A Virginia State Police spokeswoman said in a statement when deputies and state police arrived at the scene, the driver wasn’t there. A woman and dog were still inside the car uninjured.
As deputies began to search for Fields, VSP said deputies heard a gunshot and returned fire.
Combs said that’s when her brother called her and their mother.
“He said that I was shot in the neck and I’m dying,” said Combs. “She [their mother] said, ‘Who shot you?’ And he said ‘the police did.’”
Combs said she tried contacting law enforcement and local hospitals, but ultimately learned her brother died through posts on social media and news that a man had died in an officer-involved shooting, she said she knew that was her brother.
Law enforcement talked to the family around 3:30 Wednesday morning, according to Combs, but she said she is still waiting on more information.
“I just don’t want people to judge him as being a murderer,” said Combs. “I’m not making excuses. He has done a lot wrong and there’s no excuse if he did shoot. I don’t believe he shot at them. I believe he wanted to go out that way.”
Combs said her brother recently revealed to the family he was terminally ill.
“I don’t know his mindset at that time,” said Combs. “I just know he said he was not going back to jail and he didn’t want to die in the hospital.”
Field’s body has been sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy.
No officers were hurt during the incident.
According to Sheriff Andis, all deputies involved in the incident are temporarily on paid administrative leave.
Both Virginia State Police and the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office declined requests for on-camera interviews today as the investigation is ongoing.