Chad C. Newcome
Chad C. Newcome

After chase, police found the suspect’s vehicle, seemingly abandoned — and then a gunshot rang out

BUCKHANNON – More details have been released about an incident last Wednesday involving an alleged carjacking, police chase and standoff that resulted in a Rock Cave man facing multiple felony charges.

Chad C. Newcome, 40, of Rock Cave was arrested for armed robbery, fleeing with reckless indifference, driving revoked DUI third offense and two counts of wanton endangerment. More charges could come as multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the case.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office by investigating officer Cpl. Victor Pyles with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on March 10, Cpl. T.A. Menendez and Cpl. B.K. Wright were dispatched to the area of the Arlington Mini Mart because a “male was carrying a shotgun … and appeared as if he was looking for someone.”

While en route, the 911 center told officers that “the male in question was Chad Newcome and he had stolen a vehicle at gunpoint.” The victim would later tell officers that Newcome — whom he had known for about 15 years — allegedly approached him, shotgun in hand, and demanded the vehicle, a white Dodge Ram 3500.

Menendez located the truck, which was driven out the Gaines Road, and a pursuit ensued, the file says.

“The subject reached speeds of 60 MPH on a gravel road, almost striking several individuals,” according to the complaint. “Cpl. Menendez and Cpl. Wright lost the vehicle at the intersection of Roby Ridge and Salem Ridge Road. The vehicle was eventually located on Mountain Spring Road.”

By this time, other local law enforcement agencies had arrived in the area and located the vehicle hung up in the mud.

“Newcome had fled into the woods on foot,” the file states.

As officers began to secure the scene and investigate the abandoned vehicle, a gunshot rang out. Upshur County Chief Deputy Mike Coffman recounts that moment.

“I was there on the first shot,” Coffman told My Buckhannon. “We didn’t even see him. He was fairly close to us, but we didn’t even know if he was still in the area. We were coordinating, waiting on some other units and calling for the chopper to see if that was available, and then he fired that shot.”

Coffman said officers scrambled for cover as Newcome came out of the woods, armed, yelling at officers.

“We got to cover and focused on that direction, and he came running out from behind the laurel,” Coffman said. “He came out of an opening in the woods, came down with a gun aimed at us, pursuing us with the firearm, yelling at us.”

The criminal complaint says Newcome threatened to kill himself and fired two additional shots while negotiating with officers.

“The defendant threatened to kill himself while still armed with a pump action shotgun,” the complaint says. “The defendant shot twice while officers were attempting to negotiate with him.”

A press release from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office said Newcome then attempted to flee on foot.

“After about two hours of continuing negotiations, Newcome set fire to the woods and fled deeper, with officers pursuing,” according to the release. “Eventually a taser was deployed and the defendant was taken into custody shorty after dark.”

Coffman said the fire did not cause major damage, but arson charges may be forthcoming.

“There are actually two different parts of the investigation,” Coffman said, with the state police handling some aspects and the sheriff’s department handling others.

Bail was set at $40,000.

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