W.Va. deputy fatally shoots man; possible suicide-by-cop

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By Tom Searls
Charleston Gazette

Boone County authorities believe a Julian-area man might have been trying to force a deputy sheriff to kill him Sunday night when he fired on the officer.

Danny Ray Holstein Jr., 41, was being treated at CAMC General Hospital for gunshot wounds to the abdomen and ankle, Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller said. "He'll live," Miller said of Holstein.

West Virginia State Police were called to the residence of Holstein's mother just before 9 p.m. Sunday after family members called to report a domestic-violence situation, Miller said. When a trooper arrived, Holstein already had left the residence.

The trooper talked to a county sheriff's deputy and told him to watch for Holstein walking down the road.

A short time later, the deputy, whose name was not immediately released, found Holstein walking in the middle of the road, Miller said. The deputy twice called for Holstein to come speak with him, Miller said.

The sheriff said Holstein then turned around with a pistol: "He made a comment to the line of 'I don't think you really want me to do that.'"

Holstein then fired twice at the deputy at close range, but missed both times, Miller said. The deputy then fired twice, hitting the suspect both times.

"We're looking at the possibility that it may have been a try at suicide by cop," Miller said. "He's made some statements that way."

Holstein will be charged with wanton endangerment and domestic violence after being released from the hospital. State Police said a girl was bruised in the back by Holstein before he left the residence.

Miller said he could not recall Holstein having a record of violence.

The deputy was receiving some counseling. Miller said he does not anticipate any type of charges being brought against the deputy because it was a "justified reaction to the threat."

Copyright 2006 Charleston Newspapers

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