Police stand-off ends in Vinton

An incident involving a suspected fugitive, two chases and an overnight standoff ended Friday morning, April 1 with a suspect giving himself up at a private residence on Pine Street, according to a news release from the Vinton Police Department.

According to the release, on Thursday, March 31 at 5:08 p.m., the Vinton Police Department was notified that a wanted person was at a residence in the 1200 block of Ruddell Road.

Two Vinton officers responded to the residence and encountered a female occupant and an armed male subject inside the residence. The female occupant was safely removed from the home by the officers.

The armed suspect, James Robert Vermillion, 37, who was wanted on outstanding warrants, approached the officers with a gun to his head while moving to his vehicle parked adjacent to the residence.

The subject then fled the residence in his vehicle at which point Vinton officers engaged in a pursuit into Bedford County on Hardy Road,  the release said.

The pursuit ended in the area of Timberline Road when officers lost sight of the suspect vehicle.

Officers were notified a short time later the vehicle was at the intersection of Rt. 24 and Beagle Club Road where the vehicle had crashed.

The suspect, still armed, allegedly carjacked a citizen’s vehicle and fled in the stolen vehicle.

A Vinton officer observed the stolen vehicle on Rt. 24 traveling toward Vinton and reinitiated the pursuit. Contact with the suspect was then lost due to traffic; however, the vehicle in question was later located abandoned near the intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Chestnut Street in Vinton.

Officers from Vinton, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Virginia State Police, and members of the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force determined the suspect was located in a private residence on Pine Street, the release said.

A perimeter was formed by responding officers, and the Roanoke County Tactical Team activated.

The Roanoke County Police Department’s Tactical Team and hostage negotiators began their attempts to contact the suspect at approximately 9:10 p.m. Also assisting were special agents of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The situation continued throughout the night as negotiators worked to convince Vermillion to surrender, the release said.  At 8:51 a.m. April 1, Vermillion was taken into custody by members of the Roanoke City Tactical Team, which relieved Roanoke County SWAT.

According to the release:

• The Vinton Police Department will be investigating charges related to felony attempt to elude law enforcement, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, brandishing a firearm, and other related offenses.

• The carjacking is being investigated the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.

• The vehicle crash at Beagle Club road is being investigated by the Virginia State Police.

Agencies involved included the Roanoke County Police Department, the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office, the Roanoke City Police Department, the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, the Vinton Police Department and the Virginia State Police.

Vinton Police Chief Thomas Foster said, “The successful resolution to this the matter illustrates the exceptional level of interagency cooperation that exists in the Roanoke Valley.”

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